The Carrollton Lady Hawks experienced two completely different ballgames on Saturday afternoon in Carrollton.

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One was a blowout and the other was a classic all offensive showdown. Thankfully for the Lady Hawks both games went in their favor. Carrollton won the first game 8-0 and the second in-come-from-behind fashion 10-9 over the Pawnee Indians. Their record improves to 14-1.

“The first game I went with our main starters and it was an easier win,” Carrollton head coach Amy Struble said. “The second game I was trying to get other people some work and they did well.”

Madison Mountain struck out three batters and walked one in the first game of the day to up her record to 5-1. She induced a bucket load of ground balls and the infielders were always there to pluck them up.

“There is not one person that makes our team. We have some really good athletes, but our team as a whole works together,” Struble said. “Mountain didn’t have a lot of strikeouts, but that’s okay because these are the most unselfish girls you’ll ever find. So however they get an out, they’re happy.”

The only inning Mountain had trouble was the top of the first when she loaded the bases with one out, but got out of the jam by getting a strikeout and a pop fly.

On offense every Carrollton starter got a base hit. Maddie Struble went 3 for 3 with 4 RBI’s, including a 3-run home run in the sixth inning. Ellie Sturgeon went a perfect 4 for 4 with 2 singles and two doubles.

The second game was much different than first one.

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The Lady Hawks scored a run in the top of the first inning (they were the away team in the second game), but the Indians’ bats finally came alive in a big way. Their cleanup hitter laced a line drive into center field that got past the Carrollton centerfielder and she proceeded to tear around the bases for an inside the park grand slam. The Lady Hawks managed another run in the second inning, but Pawnee responded by tallying two more runs to make it 6-2. Those runs chased the Carrollton pitcher, Sturgeon, out of the game after 1 and 1/3 innings.

Emmie Struble came into pitch and loaded the bases for a potential knockout blow by the Indians, but Carrollton caught a big break when the Pawnee batter lined out to Mountain at third base and she tagged the runner for a double play to give the Lady Hawks some momentum.

“This was the first time we’ve really been behind. Our defense was a little shaky because we had some girls that normally don’t start in those positions and once we got everyone switched around everybody’s confidence came back,” Struble said.

Mountain came up to bat in the top of the third and right on cue she tattooed her seventh home run of the season over the left field fence that started a Lady Hawk rally. Madelyn Cummins drove in Maddie Strubble with an RBI triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Claire Williams to cut the deficit to 6-5.

In the fourth inning Pawnee struck again by scoring two runs on a sacrifice fly and a throwing error. Undaunted, Carrollton got a run back in the fifth and then leveled the score at 8-8 in the top of the sixth when Mountain hit a groundball that went through the legs of the Indians’ shortstop and brought home the tying run.

In the bottom half of the inning Pawnee put two runners on base with nobody out and was attempting a sacrifice bunt. But the batter popped out to Emmie Struble and barely gunned down the Indian runner at first base to get the 1-3 double play. The play of the game came as the next batter drilled a high fly ball to right center, but Cummins made a tremendous play by stretching out her arm and coming up with the catch at full speed to save the potential winning run.

Now with all of the momentum the Lady Hawks took advantage in the top of the seventh when Williams knocked an RBI single through the hole between the Indians shortstop and third basemen. Carrollton added a vital insurance run to make it 10-8 with three outs to go.

Pawnee led off with a triple and then drove that runner in with another sacrifice fly. With the Lady Hawks needing to hang on and get two outs, Struble bared down and struck out the next batter and then got the last Pawnee hitter to ground out to end the game.

Struble threw 4 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and four walks. She allowed four runs (two unearned). Her record is now a team leading 6-0.

“Every game is a new game and every competitor is a new team and we don’t put anyone above us,” Struble said. “Every game we go back to fundamentals. We have to have tight defense and we’ve got to have our bats in action. It’s just one game at a time, that’s all we can hope for.”

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