You'll have to forgive Charger softball fans for thinking, "Oh no, here we go again", as their team's four run lead began to slip away in game two of a doubleheader at Panorama last night. For you see, the Chargers had done exactly that--let a four run lead slip away in the seventh inning of the first game of the evening. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We need to look at the early game first. It was a wild one!
In game one ACGC was considered the home team on the scoreboard. After Panorama had taken a 2-0 lead in the third inning, our girls tied it in the fourth when Mady Kelsey singled and Genevieve Hoover got her first of two doubles in the game. A sacrifice bunt by Savana Fuller drove in pinch runner Kennedy Young for the first score and a fielder's choice allowed Hoover to score to knot the game at 2-2.
A single score by the Panthers in the fifth was met by a three run inning for the Chargers. After Sierra O'Brien got on by error, Sophomore catcher Mady Kelsey blasted her fourth home run of the season over the left-center field fence to give the Chargers a 4-2 lead. Later in the inning Reese Coffman's single drove in Savana Fuller who scored from third base. Chargers up by 5-3.
Panorama again scored a single run in the top of the sixth inning to cut the Charger lead to 5-4. Another three run inning by ACGC made it 8-4. With O'Brien again reaching first base via a Panther error, "G"'s second double drove in O'Brien. Savana Fuller's infield hit was followed by sister Tori's two run double and ACGC had what seemed like a comfortable lead at 8-4. But we should know by now that no lead is safe in high school softball.
Two costly Charger errors, three consecutive Panther hits and a sac bunt enabled Panorama to tie it up in the top of the seventh. It was difficult for Charger fans to watch, as the four run lead had indeed disappeared.
Extra innings. After Panorama scored a single run in the top of the eighth, ACGC countered with a run of its own when the elder Fuller was hit by a pitch, the younger Fuller singled, and Kylie Young walked to load the bases. A walk to Jadeyn Carrick forced in Savana Fuller before a pop fly ended the inning. Scored knotted at 9-9.
The Panthers put the game away when leadoff hitter Shae Storesund got on by an error and pitcher Lydia Knapp hit a two out home run to give Panorama an 11-9 lead they would not surrender.
ACGC had a chance in the bottom of the ninth when Mady Kelsey doubled with one out, "G" walked, and both pinch runner Kennedy Young and "G" advanced to third and second respectively on a wild pitch. But a strikeout and a pop fly to first base ended the game with the Chargers on the short end of an 11-9 score. One that got away.
There was no lack of hitting in the game, as the two teams combined for thirty two hits according to this observer's scorebook. The Panthers were credited with twenty and the Chargers with twelve. Mady Kelsey and Genevieve Hoover led the Chargers with three hits, with Tori Fuller having two. Savana Fuller went the full nine innings in the pitcher's circle, surrendering twenty hits, walking one batter (and that was intentional), and striking out seven.
Game two had almost the same outcome, as once again Charger fans were kept on the edges of their seats. Charger eighth grade pitcher Saige O'Brien got her first start in game two. Coach Tim O'Brien's younger daughter performed well, keeping her composure throughout. She walked just one batter and got good support from the Charger defense. But it was far from an easy victory.
After neither team scored in the first three innings, the Chargers got on the board first when Sierra O'Brien doubled and Genevieve Hoover got on by an error. Savana Fuller drove both in with a single and Kyle Young drove in Savana with a double. 3-0 Chargers.
The Panthers scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to close the Charger lead to 3-2. ACGC came up with three runs in the top of the sixth when "G" single to left and Tori Fuller hit her first career home run over the left field fence. Reese Coffman scored the other run when she got on by error and the younger O'Brien singled to right field and the fielder errored to allow Coffman to score. 6-2 Chargers. Game in the bag--right? Maybe not.
After the Panthers first two batters singled, O'Brien was lifted for Savana Fuller in the pitcher's circle. A misplayed ball by Fuller allowed a run to score. Another Panther hit drove in two runs and the lead shrinks to 6-4. An error at first base on a pop fly seemingly put Panther runners on first and second, but in the confusion, a Panther runner was forced out at second base. One out. Fuller comes up with a strikeout, before a Panorama single puts runners on first and second with two outs. On a 3-2 count Fuller struck out the Panther hitter on a check swing to end the game. Whew! Chargers prevail, 6-5, and come away with a split in the doubleheader.
Saige O'Brien picks up the win--her first, while Savana Fuller is credited with a save. O'Brien gave up four runs on eleven Panther hits in six innings of work. She walked just one batter and struck out three in her debut. Fuller pitched one inning, gave up one run on two hits and stuck out two Panthers. Genevieve Hoover led the hitting with two bingos while Tori Fuller's two run home run was huge for ACGC.
The Chargers picked up their tenth win of the season with the victory and moves the season record to 10-16. The girls will be in action again tonight when WCAC rival West Central Valley will come to town. The junior varsity game is scheduled for 5:30 with the varsity game to follow. Tonight is senior night when the four Charger seniors--Jadeyn Carrick, Savana Fuller, Genevieve Hoover, and Sierra O'Brien--will be honored. Go Chargers!
First game score by inning: Second game score by inning:
Panorama 011 011 412--11 20 3 ACGC 000 403 0--6 7 4
ACGC 000 233 010-- 9 12 5 Panorama 000 110 3--5 12 4
Charger box score: Charger box score:
AB R H RBI AB R H RBI
JHoover 6 0 1 0 JHoover 4 0 0 0
SiO'Brien 6 2 0 0 SiO'Brien 4 1 1 0
Kelsey 6 1 3 2 Kelsey 4 0 1 0
KeYoung 0 1 0 0 KeYoung 0 0 0 0
GHoover 4 2 3 1 GHoover 4 2 2 0
SFuller 4 3 1 1 TFuller 4 1 1 2
TFuller 6 0 2 2 SFuller 3 1 1 2
KyYoung 3 0 0 0 KyYoung 3 0 1 0
Coffman 4 0 1 1 Coffman 3 1 0 0
Carrick 0 0 0 0
Pitching: IP R H SO BB
SFuller 9 9 20 7 1 Pitching: IP R H SO BB
SaO'Brien 6 4 11 3 1
SFuller 1 1 2 2 0