After getting off to a slow start, losing five of their first six games, the McDowell Lady Titans look to be getting back on their feet just in time for the heart of Northwestern 3A/4A Conference play.
On Tuesday night, McDowell picked up its first road win of the season, an 8-1 victory at Watauga.
After a defensive stalemate in the first four innings McDowell erupted late, scoring three times in the top of the fifth.
Then, going into the seventh still ahead by a two-run margin, the Lady Titans scored five times in their final at bat.
Alexa Poplin (2 for 3, R) and Jada Cannon (2 for 4, 2RBIs, R) had two hits each in the contest. Dezi Williams (2RBIs), Emma Banks (HR, RBI), Jessica Cannon and Kirsten Melvin (RBI) had one hit apiece.
The offensive production was more than enough for Candace Cooper, who earned the win, tossing five innings and allowing one run on three hits. Cooper struck out five batters and walked a pair.
Junior Taylor Morgan along with freshman Hayley Lawing combined for two hitless innings of work, striking out one batter.
McDowell 7, Alexander Central 6 (8 innings)
McDowell (3-5 overall, 2-2 NWC) returned to Titan Field on Wednesday with the challenge of facing perennial power Alexander Central.
The Lady Titans met that challenge head-on and came away with a 7-6 win in eight innings.
Both team put together three runs in the first two innings of play and that set the tone for the night as the contest featured three ties and seven different lead changes.
Both teams were tied 4-4 after four innings, 5-5 after six innings and a third time at 6-6 going into extras.
The Lady Titans then broke through with one last run in the eighth after Alexander Central was held scoreless in the previous half inning.
Kirsten Melvin started the last frame with a basehit up the middle. Then, with one out and Emma Banks at the plate, Melvin was able to advance to third on a pair of pitches that got past Alexander Central’s catcher.
Later, Melvin scored on a ball put in play by Laynie Hudgins to the left side. Melvin, on a close play, beat the throw home for the walk-off.
Sophomore Jada Cannon had her best outing at the plate, going 4-for-5 including a triple, scoring twice and driving in a pair as well.
Three McDowell seniors, Dezi Williams (3 for 4, 2RBIs), Melvin (3 for 5, double, RBI) and Hudgins (3 for 5, R, RBI) also produced well, getting three hits apiece. Alexa Poplin, Candace Cooper (RBI), Emma Banks (RBI), Jessica Cannon and Nicole Gallion, all had one hit apiece.
Lucy Hames earned the victory in relief, tossing 1 2/3 innings and allowing an earned run on three hits.
McDowell begins a four-game road trip on Tuesday at West Caldwell.