February 27, 2009
It wasn''t the prototypical game for the Caledonia High School softball team, but it will take the win nonetheless.
Despite allowing a season-high eight runs and surrendering four runs on wild pitches, the Lady Confederates still mustered enough offense for a 9-8 win against Columbus to remain undefeated through five games.
Caledonia second baseman Stephanie Hopper provided the game-winning run when she barely crossed home safely following a wild pitch by Columbus starting pitcher Nashedra Berry.
"We''re starting to hit the ball well, and we hit it hard tonight," Caledonia coach Robin Elmore said. "We''re getting better. Our goal now is to avoid making these mental errors moving forward."
Senior pitcher Maggie Wester earned the complete-game victory. She allowed seven earned runs on six hits, walked five walks, had eight wild pitches and struck out 18.
"It was tough for both the pitchers tonight with a hard mound," Elmore said. "After we got out of the first we had her change cleats, which helped a bit, but it''s something you have to deal with."
Berry also pitched a complete game, allowing one earned run, but eight errors opened the floodgates.
"Nashedra threw a great game," Columbus coach Macy Wilbanks said. "It hurt her a little having such a young defense out there and a young catcher. Once we can get them all on the same page it''s going to amazing.
"I am disappointed with defense a little. We''re a young team, though. We start five freshmen, which is uncommon in 5A. They''re still learning out there."
Berry had a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning to tie the game at 8. It was Berry''s first home run of the season.
"Down by two runs I knew as soon as we got Treeny (Harris) on base that something good was going to happen," Wilbanks said.
Columbus (0-5) took a 3-0 lead in the first thanks to wild pitches.
Caledonia responded with five runs in the second on RBI singles from Justine Jenkins and Blair Ruth.
Columbus tied it at 5 in the fourth when Berry tripled and scored on a wild pitch.
Caledonia used a two-run triple by Jenkins (two hits, including a triple, three RBIs) in the sixth to take an 8-6 lead.
Caitlin Gilbreath also had two hits for Caledonia.
Berry went 2-for-3 with a triple and three runs scored to lead Columbus'' six-hit attack.
Caledonia will travel to play Tupelo tonight, while Columbus will play host to Meridian on Monday.