Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ashley Thompson’s Double Allows North Nodaway to Walk Off Against Tigers

Ashley Thompson’s walkoff ground rule double gave North Nodaway a 6-4 win over Worth County, the second straight win over Worth County in as many weeks.

Worth County was up 4-3 going into the bottom of the seventh after a game with some early fireworks settled into a defensive struggle. Audrey Trimble tried to slap her way on for North Nodaway but was out on a close play to start the inning, but Kandace Damgar singled up the middle, as did Shai Dailey. Makayla Cross hit a squib down the first base line and Worth County first baseman Kennedy Galanakis didn’t have a play anywhere.

That loaded the bases for Emma Hart, who flied out to Morgan Beagle in right. She tried to double off Cross, but she was safe and both Cross and Dailey advanced on the ensuing throw home as Damgar scored safely to tie it at 4-4.

Ashley Thompson came up and she hit a deep drive to dead center field. Centerfielder Anna Gladstone was tracking it, but as she tried to make the catch, her foot tangled up in the fence and the ball caromed off her glove over the fence. Officially, it was scored a ground rule double to give North Nodaway the 6-4 victory.

It looked for all the world like Worth County would avenge its loss from the week before. North Nodaway was playing shorthanded, without Alicia Davison (shoulder). In the top of the first, Braidy Hunt walked and Jill Hardy shot one past Shai Dailey at second as Hunt went to third. Hardy stole second and Merrideth Spiers reached on an error as shortstop Kandace Damgar bobbled it to let in a run. Pitcher Keagan O’Riley bobbled Kennedy Galanakis’ squib to load the bases. Hailey Hunt struck out for the second out, but Megan Cassavaugh hit a pop fly single to right to score two runs and make it 3-0.

Worth County added to their lead in the second when Anna Gladstone shot a single into center with one out. Braidy Hunt got a scratch hit, but then Anna Gladstone was thrown out trying to go first to third on the play as Hunt took second. Jill Hardy beat out another scratch hit between first and second as Hunt came home all the way from second to make it 4-0.

Worth County got into a jam in the second, but got out of it. With one out, Ashley Thompson shot one into right past Abbi Caddenhead at second for a single. Keagan O’Riley reached on a dropped fly ball by leftfielder Braidy Hunt, and Kristin Herndon was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But Chloe Schimming grounded into a force at home and Audrey Trimble was barely out at first on a slap hit to pitcher Haley Hunt for the third out.

North Nodaway finally broke through in the third. Kandace Damgar shot a single up the middle, and Shai Dailey beat out a bunt that landed in a dead zone just in front of second. That brought up Makayla Cross, who tripled off the wall in left to score two. That brought up Emma Hart, who grounded out to Jill Hardy at short to score Cross to make it 4-3. Ashley Thompson made it all the way to second on a throwing error, but Anna Gladstone made a running catch of Keagan O’Riley’s pop fly and Kristin Herndon grounded out.

The game settled into a defensive struggle until the final inning. Worth County got two runners on in the fourth as Braidy Hunt and Jill Hardy singled with one out, but Merrideth Spiers and Kennedy Galanakis struck out to end the threat. In the sixth, North Nodaway first baseman Ashley Thompson stretched a long ways to save second baseman Shai Dailey an error on Braidy Hunt’s grounder. That turned out to be a big item as Jill Hardy tripled on the next play when center fielder Audrey Trimble slipped and fell going after the ball and left fielder Emma Hart had to go get it. Worth County stopped potential mischief in the sixth as Hunt made a running catch of Keagan O’Riley’s drive, the second time she had been robbed; Jill Hardy snagged Chloe Schimming’s screamer and doubled off Kristin Herndon off of first later in the inning.

The JV game followed the same script as the varsity game as North Nodaway won 7-5 after Worth County had led 5-1 at one point.

The two teams traded runs in the first as Kaylee McElvain grounded out to score Allison Larison for Worth County and Jadon Dobbins scored on a wild pitch for North Nodaway.

In the second, Morgan Beagle walked and beat out a force to second as Kennedy Galanakis was safe on a fielder’s choice. Kristin New walked, Beagle scored on a wild pitch, and Anna Gladstone hit a three run home run to left field well over the 200 foot fence to make it 5-1.

But then North Nodaway got three back in the bottom of the inning. Ashley Thompson singled and then Jadon Dobbins hit a pop fly that rolled away from everyone for a double; she went to third on an unsuccessful throw home. Emily Dew reached on a scratch hit to short to score Dobbins; later, Taylor Combs grounded out to score Dew. In the third, Shai Dailey got a single and continued on to third on an error that score three more runs to give North Nodaway the 7-5 win.

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