Softball: Lady Tigers split doubleheader at McCrory
Green Forest softball coach Daniel Fitts is a graduate of McCrory High School, and he thought the Lady Tigers could gain some valuable experience by playing against the Lady Jaguars — one of the state’s top Class 2A teams.
As it turned out, the Lady Tigers also gained a victory.
Green Forest made the 180-mile drive to McCrory on Friday, March 12, and split a doubleheader. The Lady Tigers won the opener 3-2 before McCrory took the nightcap 9-0.
“Their softball coach was my basketball coach in school,” Fitts said. “So I really wanted to go back and play against them. I thought it would be a pretty good experience. They will be a top-five team in 2A. They usually are. I know most of their players and their parents. They all play travel ball and it's really, really obvious because they’re so fundamental.”
A Lady Jaguars error, however, opened the door for Green Forest in the opener.
With Katie Underdown at second base and Maddie Youngblood at third, a Green Forest batter struck out but the McCrory catcher dropped the third strike, then threw the ball in the dirt at first base. That allowed Maddie Youngblood to score the go-ahead run and pitcher Gracie Youngblood pitched a scoreless final inning to finish the Green Forest win.
“I was pretty stoked,” Fitts said.
Chesney Weeks had two hits and scored a run for the Lady Tigers. Leah Evans, Gracie Youngblood and Allie Snow had one RBI apiece and Whitney Andreski and Maddie Youngblood also scored runs. Gracie Youngblood pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four batters and walking two.
Despite the lopsided final score in the second game, Fitts said McCrory led just 1-0 going into the fourth inning.
“And then we kind of just fell apart and made some mistakes, let the ball get by us in the outfield and stuff like that,” Fitts said. “So it wasn’t a blowout. I was happy we split.”
Emma Taylor had both Green Forest hits in the second game.