Published: Mar 09, 2012 03:46 AM
Modified: Mar 10, 2012 07:56 PM
RALEIGH - Garners softball team waited a while to get its 2012 season started, 10 days into the allotted time for this years season. The Trojans showed the new shine of a freshly made product at times, but also the grit of an experienced winner, taking down Athens Drive 4-2 Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh.
A two-out, four-run second inning rally at the plate held up for Garner down the stretch as the Jaguars stranded baserunners at second and third in the seventh.
You could tell it was Athens Drives fifth game and our first game, said Garner coach Moe Barbour. After we put together those four runs, we just didnt have any timely hitting. We left runners on second and third, first and second and left the bases loaded.
We were fortunate that we had a four-run lead.
The Trojans created their four-run advantage in the second inning. Back-to-back singles by Courtney Barbour and Amanda Hulmes gave the Trojans a pair of baserunners with two outs.
Shea Barbour opened a string of three straight two-out hits with a single up the middle, which scored both Hulmes and Courtney Barbour. Kelsey Bryan followed with an RBI double to center for a 3-0 lead.
Madison Stewart then plated Bryan with a single.
Courtney Barbour was 3-for-3 at the plate on the day, while Bryan and Stewart finished with two hits each.
The Jaguars tallied single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Olivia Baratta singled and later scored on a wild pitch in the fourth. Baratta added an RBI single in the fifth when the Jaguars left the bases loaded.
Athens Drive played well, theyre a solid team, Barbour said. They swing the bats well and Hannah Reynolds is great swinging it. Shed be in my top five of hitters in the area right now.
Reynolds was 2-for-4 on the day for Athens, as was Baratta.
Lauren Marbrey got the win for Garner, scattering eight hits while striking out 10 and issuing just a single walk.
This is the first time Laurens pitched an entire game in 10 days, since our scrimmage, Barbour said. She was effective, but I thought we got a little too predictable when we got two strikes, throwing the change-up. We let her and the catcher (Courtney Barbour), which is a change for us.
Theyll continue to get better at it. Theyre both smart players.
The Trojans jump right into Greater Neuse River 4A Conference play on Tuesday, meeting Clayton. Thats the same team that beat Garner in the third round of the playoffs last spring, en route to a surprise appearance in the NCHSAA Final Four.
The Comets are led by standout pitcher Nicole Bond and return much of their lineup from a season ago.
Thats going to be tough to get ready for, Nicole Bond in your second game of the season, Barbour said. Well see her and the Holly Springs pitcher (Erica Nunn) this season. I dont know if theres any two better in the state than those two this season.