A mark of a good team is being able to snatch victories from the jaws of defeat, even when they donâ€™t play their best.
The North Lincoln Lady Knights did just that against Polk Co. on Wednesday with an 8-7 win.
Junior Nicole Baxter had a two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to give the Knights an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the fifth.
â€œSince my pitching wasnâ€™t the best, it was nice to be able to contribute to my team in another way,â€ Baxter said of her game-winning two-RBI single.
What Baxter started at the plate, Nicole Hall finished on the mound. Hall relieved Baxter, who struggled with her control, and worked three innings, striking out six batters and allowing only one hit.
More importantly, Hall held Polk Co. to no runs in the final three innings to earn the win.
The Lady Knights got on the board in the bottom of the first with a two-RBI single from Kayla Alexander. They added two more in the third on a RBI-double by Nicole Hall and on Donia McDonaldâ€™s fielderâ€™s choice.
Polk Co. answered with three runs of their own, whittling the lead to 4-3. Jenna Torbertâ€™s RBI single and sophomore Courtney Feldonâ€™s RBI-triple gave the Knights a 6-3 lead.
The Lady Wolverines had three hits and four walks in the top of the fifth, but were only able to add one run.
It was not Baxterâ€™s best outing, as she walked seven batters. She did, however, have eight strikeouts.
Feldon was sensational at the plate, almost hitting for a cycle, going 3-for-4 with a single, double, and triple. Hall went 2-for-4 with a single and a double. Lindsey Smith, McKenzie Harkey, McDonald, Torbert, Alexander, and Baxter all singled.
â€œWe got hits when we needed them. Everybody stepped up and it really helped us out for our offense,â€ Baxter said.
North Lincoln finished third in the Gaston Gazetteâ€™s Softball Slam. Playing against 3A schools, and having such good results, has given the team a confidence boost heading into the second half of the season.
â€œIt was really good because we knew there were good teams in the tournament and weâ€™re just proud we did as good as we did,â€ Baxter said.
The Lady Knights now improve to 9-2 on the year with a 4-1 Southern Foothillsâ€™ Conference mark.
They will visit Maiden on Tuesday in another Southern Foothills showdown.
Senior Nicole Hall earned the win, in relief, against the Wolverines. Hall worked three innings and struck out six. At the plate, she went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Chris Dean / LTN Photo
by John Mark Brooks