Dyer Co. outlasts Munford in first-round slugfest

Saturday, May 5, 2018

In what turned into an offensive battle late in the opening round of the District 13AAA Softball Tournament down in Munford, Dyer County’s bats came to life to break open the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring four times on the way to a 10-6 win over the hosting Lady Cougars on Friday night in Tipton County.

Despite a rally by the Lady Cougars which saw the Munford team tie the score in the sixth inning with five runs, Dyer County head coach Shanna O’Bright was quick to praise her team for not letting the rally doom the Lady Choctaws.

“We did not give up,” O’Bright said. “Our offense refused to quit.

“Munford is a great hitting team.”

With the second-seeded Lady Choctaws playing as the home team on Munford’s field, Dyer County took the lead in the bottom of the first inning as Zoie Springer doubled to lead off the game then advanced to third on a passed ball. Athena Bock then reached on a throwing error by the Munford third baseman which allowed Springer to score and put Dyer County up 1-0 after one inning.

Munford answered to tie the game in the top of the third inning with a solo homerun from Madison Rittinger to make the score 1-1 after two and a half innings.

The Lady Choctaws, though, did not let that tie stand long as Dyer County retook the lead in an unconventional way in the bottom of the third. Leadoff batter Springer swung at and missed a third strike which was dropped by the Munford catcher. But, as Springer attempted to reach first, the throw from the Lady Cougar backstop hit her on top of the helmet, bounced off and rolled to the right field fence allowing the speedy freshman to race around the bases for the score.

After the play was upheld by the officials, Bock singled then Ragan Coleman joined her on the basepaths with a single as Bock advanced to third when the throw was misplayed at first. Then, another throwing error by the Munford catcher sailed over the third baseman’s glove on a pickoff attempt allowing both runners to score and extend Dyer County’s lead to 4-1 after three innings.

Dyer County added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth, getting a pair of runners on with one out. Bock grounded out to second to score one run then another run scored on a Coleman infield single to put Dyer County up 6-1 after four innings.

Munford rallied in the fifth inning, getting a bases-loaded single from Vada Butler to plate one then cleanup hitter Makayla Pugh tied the game with one swing of the bat, sending a pitch over the outfield wall for a grandslam to tie the game at 6-6. But, after a mound visit, the Lady Choctaws and pitcher Payton Reasons got out of the inning to keep the game tied at six.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the next inning. The Lady Choctaws got leadoff batter Brooklyn King on with a single to open the inning. Emily Finley followed with a sacrifice bunt to move King to second. The next batter, Springer, bunted to reach base then Bock drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Coleman singled up the middle to plate the go-ahead run. After a flyout, Hailey Sipes cleared the bases with a triple to right to put Dyer County on top 10-6 heading into the seventh inning.

Despite an error to start the inning, the Dyer County defense got a liner to third followed by a walk then two flyballs to right to secure the win for the Lady Choctaws.

Reasons picked up the win on the mound, allowing six runs on four hits on the way to the victory while striking out five Lady Cougars batters.

Sipes led the way for Dyer County at the plate as the sophomore catcher went 3-for-4 on the day with a triple and two singles while driving in three runs during the win.

Springer also had a trio of hits in four at bats, getting two singles and a double while scoring four of the Dyer County runs.

Coleman also had three hits, all singles with a pair of RBI.

The Lady Choctaws advanced to Saturday’s second-round game against Hardin County, who upset Brighton in the opening round on Friday. After weekend action, the tournament resumes on Monday with the consolation bracket final then championship action is set for Tuesday at 5 p.m. with all games taking place at Munford.

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