When Harlem third baseman Lindsey Stokes made the throw to first for the final out, the Lady Bulldogs made history.
Harlem defeated Evans 4-2 Thursday night. According to Colette Cassedy, the Lady Knights’ longtime head coach, it was the first time since they started playing fastpitch softball in 1997 that the Lady Bulldogs beat her squad.
Mike Leverett, in his sixth year as Harlem’s head coach, loved being on top for once.
“I had never beat them,” Leverett said with a big grin. “I don’t take it hard when she beats me. I hate it, but we’re good friends and it’s always a good game when we play them.”
Thursday night was no different as the Lady Bulldogs (7-4) made the most of the four hits they got off Evans pitcher Lexi Dodgen (3-3).
A walk, single, sacrifice bunt and consecutive doubles from Haley Mays and Stokes gave the Lady Bulldogs a 3-0 third-inning lead.
That was enough for Lady Bulldogs freshman pitcher Amber Garett (5-2), who battled her way through seven innings.
Evans (3-4-1) tagged her for nine hits and had at least two runners on base in each of the last four innings, but could only push across one run in that span.
Garrett finished with four strikeouts and one walk.
“When I get into a jam, my focus level, I think, rises, because I’m determined,” said Garrett. “I have one goal and that’s to get those outs.”
The Lady Knights pushed across a run in the fourth inning on the first of Taylor McChesney’s two doubles, but Tori Poss got the run right back in the bottom half with a blast over the left-field fence.
Savannah Gabriel singled home McChesney in the sixth inning, but that would be all the Lady Knights would get.
“It was a good game, it could have gone either way,” said Cassedy. “I’ve known Mike (Leverett) a long time. I know he really wanted this.”
Evans 000 101 0 – 2 9 0
Harlem 003 100 x – 4 4 1
Lexi Dodgen and Taylor McChesney. Amber Garrett and Morgan Barton. WP–Garrett (5-2). LP–Dodgen (3-3).
2B–Taylor McChesney 2 (E). Brooke Buck (E), Savanna Gladue (E), Haley Mays (H), Lindsey Stokes (H). HR–Tori Poss (H).
Leading Hitters: Evans–McChesney 2 for 4 RBI, Brooke Buck 2 for 3. Harlem–Stokes 2 RBI.
Records: Evans 3-4-1. Harlem 7-4. Next: Evans vs. Screven County, 5 p.m., Monday; Harlem at Houston County, 5 p.m., today.