By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Things looked pretty gloomy for Montcalm while spring sunshine flooded the Lady Generals’ softball field on Monday.
After the sun dipped behind the mountain, it got much brighter for the home team.
After trailing throughout the game, the Lady Generals scored four runs in a magical bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Summers County 8-7 at Tina Casey Field.
“Determination,” summed up Montcalm head coach Cindy Havens. “These girls do work pretty hard, and they stay determined, stay focused most of the time. Just good effort, good hustle. I’m proud of them.”
“We did ask them to be patient, and they listened, and it panned out for us.”
Brittney Justice, the Lady Bobcats’ freshman pitcher, struck out the first five Montcalm batters before Tylor Compton doubled to center for the home team’s first hit.
By that time, Summers County was already ahead 4-0, aided by three Montcalm errors and an RBI triple by Justice.
Havens brought freshmen Haley Ingraham and Heather Nicewander off the bench to bat in the fifth, and each produced an RBI to trim the Lady Bobcats’ lead to 5-3.
Justice’s second triple of the day plated Tabson Torres in the seventh for a 7-4 advantage. Then came the magic.
Nicewander led off with a single, then Justice walked three straight batters and gave up RBI singles to Compton and Katilyn Simpson, which ended the game.
Autumn Bouldin, who drew a bases-loaded walk for the first run of the Montcalm seventh, scored the winning run when the Lady Bobcats threw to third for the first and only out of the frame.
“I just knew that I had to come through for my team, and that we needed this win,” Simpson said. “Pretty exciting. We rallied really well.”
Havens said, “Katilyn is a really good hitter ... a good hard, strong line-drive hitter.” She added, “Tylor Compton’s a first-year player for us. She’s come in and done an exceptional job.
Justice ended up with 11 strikeouts and gave up nine hits.
Havens said about Justice, “She’s consistent; she throws on target. I thought, at the beginning of the game, it might have bothered us a little bit, because of our youth, because she is a left-handed pitcher. This was the first time this year we faced a left-handed pitcher.”
“I don’t know if that was it, or it was just a Monday and we were out of focus at the beginning,” she said with a laugh. “But you can’t take anything from her (Justice). She did a good job.”
Montcalm’s No. 9 batter, Jasmine Williams, was 3 for 3 with three stolen bases, an RBI and a run scored. Two of her hits were bunt singles. Nicewander was 2 for 2 with three stolen bases, and RBI and a run scored.
Hannah Johnson earned the pitching win, allowing eight hits and striking out seven Summers County batters.
Both pitchers walked eight batters.
Justice was 2 for 3 at bat, and drove in three runs. She also walked twice. Torres was also 2 for 3 with a walk, and scored two runs.
The Lady Generals have plenty of softball ahead this week.
“We have games every day this week. I think we’re off on Friday,” Havens said. “Once this starts, and you have (good) weather, you just play.”
— Contact Tom Bone at
At Tina Casey Field
Summers County.....130 011 1 — 7 8 1
Montcalm..................000 121 4 — 8 9 4
Brittney Justice and KcKenzie White. Hannah Johnson and Alexus Hatfield. WP - Johnson. LP - Brit. Justice.