It was a tough go for McDowell County’s American Legion fastpitch team as they were swept by Hickory Post 48 in two close games Thursday night out at Big League Camp.
In the first game, Hickory jumped out to an early lead and for every response McDowell put together, Hickory answered it, eventually winning by a 6-4 score.
Post 48 scored two times in both the top halves of the first and second innings. McDowell then countered with a three-run bottom half of the second to get back within a run at 4-3.
Both teams traded off single runs in the fourth to keep the margin at one run, then an insurance run for Post 48 in the fifth inning proved important as Hickory had just enough of a working margin in the final half inning.
Parker Brown singled for McDowell with one out in the fifth, putting the tying run at the plate. However, a strikeout by Jaden Shuford and a ground out by Taylor Morgan ended the threat and the first game.
Avery Jordan took the loss for Post 56 as she allowed six runs, three of them earned on five hits. Jordan struck out three but eight walks proved costly as they gave Hickory plenty of scoring opportunities.
McDowell finished with seven hits overall in the contest. Along with Brown’s hit, Bailey Elliott (1-2, 2RBIs), Logan Lilly (1-1, RBI), Kally Fowler (1-2), Laynie Hudgins, Lucy Hames (1-2) and Avery Jordan accounted for one hit apiece in the opening game.
The three-run second inning by Post 56 featured a single up the middle by Hames, Jordan reaching on an error, an RBI hit by Lilly scoring Hames and a two out, two-run single by Elliott that made it 4-3 Hickory at that point.
Hickory 5, McDowell 4
Hickory secured the sweep of the doubleheader thanks in part to a late rally to beat McDowell Post 56 5-4 in the nightcap.
McDowell was ahead 4-3 going into the last frame when Hickory scored twice off Post 56 pitcher Lucy Hames (5 IP, 5R 4H). That, along with six errors by McDowell, sealed their fate in game two.
In their last at bat, Post 56 had a pair of runners, including the winning run on base but was not able to get either of those in.
Laynie Hudgins walked to begin the fifth against Hickory pitcher Mayson Lail. Bailey Elliot then sacrificed, advancing Hudgins to second. Katie Baker then walked to put the winning run on base. Unfortunately that was where the rally stalled out.
Parker Brown flied out to right field with no runners advancing on the play and then Maggie Rometti was retired on a pop-up to the first baseman to end the game.
McDowell (2-4) finished with just three hits in the nightcap, none of them for extra bases. Baker went 1-for-2 walked once and scored once. Avery Jordan was 1-for-2 with a run scored and Elliott added one hit in as many at bats.
Post 56 will begin a long road swing starting Tuesday at Burke County Post 21. All Legion programs will take some time off during the Fourth of July Holiday. McDowell returns to Big League Camp on Thursday, July 11 against Burke County.