MACON – Eastern Brown softball coach Harold Dorsey owes the team’s early success to one thing.
Those kids used a six-run fourth inning to pull ahead of Peebles on their way to an 11-8 victory on Wednesday, their fifth straight win to start the season.
“The kids,” said Dorsey. “They’re playing ball.”
Hailey Moore had a two-RBI single to center in the top of the fourth, putting Peebles up, 6-3, but the Lady Warriors answered with a huge half inning of their own.
Brittney Koewler singled to center to start the bottom of the fourth, and it was followed by a walk of Allison Malott and a bunt single from Ashlee Minnix. Taylor Dotson hit a grounder to second and Madison Pierce threw home for the force out, preserving the three-run lead.
But then came Maggie Dorsey at the top of the Eastern order. She singled to right, driving in one run, before an error on a ball hit by Kameron Tomlin scored another.
“We had the [Brycelyn] Short girl pitch today – she’s a freshman and I want to get her some time throwing,” said Peebles coach Doug McFarland. “She does a nice job hitting her spots, she moved the ball around and it came down to the same thing [as last night] – we had several routine plays we should have made tonight.”
Short got Whitney Broughton to ground to Moore at short, who threw home to prevent the tying run.
The freshman then hit Andrea Edmisten with the second pitch of the next at bat to draw the game even, 6-6, before the Lady Warriors took the lead on a pitch that ended up at the backstop. Koewler, up for the second time in the inning, made it a 9-6 lead heading into the fifth with a single to center that scored Broughton and Edmisten.
Peebles got a run back in the fifth on a wild pitch, but Eastern added two in the bottom half of the inning on a single from Broughton, making it 11-7.
Short, who was pitching Wednesday after Madison Pierce threw 127 pitches in a loss to Fayetteville-Perry on Tuesday, reached with a leadoff double in the sixth and scored on an error.
Dotson pitched the first six innings for Eastern, coming away with the win while allowing eight runs, only two of which were earned. She allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out two – all with a hurt hand after getting hit before the game.
“She’s tough. I let her know that,” said Dorsey. “She battled through that early injury and came in when I didn’t think she was going to be able to go at all.”
The injury was too much for Eastern’s starter after tagging out Pierce at home following a pitch to the backstop.
Maggie Dorsey came in for the top of the seventh, finishing off the 11-8 victory without allowing a hit to the four batters she faced.
The two started sloppy and finished with five errors each. Peebles took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, scoring on a double from Moore and a sacrifice fly from Kyndall Lloyd. The Lady Warriors scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning after getting the first two batters on with Peebles errors.
“They just keep playing. They don’t quit and that’s what I love about them,” said Dorsey. “We actually did that three innings today – had some mental breakdowns and gave them a little extra outs.”
After a scoreless second inning, Peebles added two more runs in the third before Moore’s double in the top of the fourth made it 6-3.
Moore led the Peebles offense with two hits and three RBIs, while Lloyd had a hit and two RBIs. Short also had a multi-hit game. In the circle, Short allowed 10 hits and three walks while striking out one. Of the 11 runs Eastern scored, four were earned.
“I’m not happy with the loss, but I thought overall we were more solid through the lineup than we were last night,” said McFarland.
“I’m walking away not down, but we’ve got work to do and we’ll work at it and get better,” added McFarland.
Koewler, Edmisten and Broughton each recorded two RBIs for Eastern, who will travel to Lynchburg-Clay Thursday for a 5 p.m. game.
Peebles will look to rebound from losses on back-to-back days when they travel to Manchester on Thursday.
LADY WARRIORS 11, LADY INDIANS 8
2B- Moore (P), Broughton (EB), Minnix (EB), Short (P)
LOB- P 7, EB 5
WP- Dotson. LP- Short
Records: Peebles 1-3, Eastern Brown 5-0