Garrett Black knew Tuesday’s game meant a lot to the seniors on Greenbrier’s softball squad.
After all, it was their final
regular-season home game against Columbia County rival Evans.
This time, it was a freshman who helped those seniors enjoy a victory. Monica Mullis’ three-run home run proved pivotal in a 4-0 Wolfpack win.
“I got up there, took a strike and looked for a pitch to hit,” Mullis said of the fourth-inning homer that extended a 1-0 lead to a four-run advantage. “It was middle-in, something I could hit far.”
Her fourth home run of the season – and first at home – followed senior Casey Rowland’s home run to lead off the fifth, as Greenbrier (20-3, 6-0 Region 2-AAAA North) scored all four of its runs in the inning.
Starting pitcher Morgan Tickerhoof earned her second complete-game shutout against Evans this season after she blanked the Knights 2-0 in late August. Rowland also had a home run in that contest and has hit nine this season.
Evans (16-6, 7-3) out-hit Greenbrier five to four, but couldn’t get the big hit when the opportunity arose.
“Our bats didn’t come alive until the end,” Evans coach Colette Cassedy said. “Even though we didn’t score, we started making better contact and adjusted a little bit better.
“We were a little bit timid the first few innings at the plate.”
The Knights’ best scoring chance came in the fifth inning, when Elyssa Melton walked and Alexis Schlein and Savanna Gladue followed with singles.
With the bases loaded and one out, Natalie Johnson squared up a pitch and hit a lightning-fast liner back at Tickerhoof.
The senior snagged it, however, then induced a fielder’s choice to get out of the inning unscathed.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you (how I caught it) because it happened in a split-second,” said Tickerhoof, who struck out four.
Brooke Sarver started the game for Evans and went four innings. The three-run homer she allowed came after she hit Maggie Evans and walked Molly Lillis.
Tiffany Sellers relieved Sarver in the fifth inning. She hit a pair of batters and allowed a single, but didn’t give up a run.
The win meant Greenbrier stayed perfect in the sub-region and clinched a home series for the first round of the region tournament, which begins Sept. 30.