The McDowell Lady Titans varsity softball team wanted to send its seniors out with a bang and they sure did that and a lot more.
McDowell wasted no time making easy work of the Asheville Lady Cougars on senior night, winning 11-1 in five innings at Titan Field.
The win not only was important for obvious reasons in the last home contest of the regular season, but it also keeps intact McDowell’s two-game advantage in the Mountain Athletic Conference 4A race over T.C. Roberson with a pair of games left on the schedule. A win by the Lady Titans in either of those last two gives the team the 4A league title and guarantees a State Playoff game at home. The split MAC 4A/3A recognizes both a 4A and 3A champ in all team sports.
McDowell did what it needed to do early and often and kept the foot on the gas, forcing the 10-run rule after four-and-a-half innings.
Senior Aly Woody took the win, tossing five innings, allowing a run on three hits and striking out four Asheville batters. The only blemish came with two outs in the second inning when Makenzie Rice hit a home run over the left-field fence. The other two hits allowed were singles in the fourth and fifth innings. Other than the home run, no other Asheville runner got into scoring position.
Meanwhile at the plate, the Lady Titans went to work, accumulating 11 hits as a team.
They scored three times in the first. It all got started when Micaiah Shelton reached on an infield single and took second on a throwing error. Woody then reached on a walk, putting a pair on base. Then, with runners at second and third, Haley Gowan reached on a Lady Cougars fielding error that allowed both runners to score to put the Lady Titans in front 2-0. Liana Elliott followed with a basehit scoring Gowan to make it 3-0.
After allowing the single run in the top half of the second McDowell responded abruptly, scoring five more times in a frame in which the team strung together six consecutive hits.
Hannah Shelton, Michalyn Bingham and Micaiah Shelton each singled to start the second. Woody then doubled to right, driving in a pair, and then Gowan followed with two-run double of her own, making the score 7-1. Elliott capped off the five-run second with a single, driving in Gowan to pad the lead to 8-1.
McDowell tacked on three more runs in the third with the help of three more hits ultimately pushing the lead to the 10-run margin. From that point Woody retired Asheville in order in both the fourth and fifth innings, forcing the mercy rule.
McDowell will be on the road tonight (Friday) at A.C. Reynolds.