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WILMINGTON — Bloopers on television are funny, but West Brunswick’s softball team
found nothing amusing about the bloopers that cost them the regular-season conference championship Thursday night, May 1.
Ashley used two bloopers to score the winning run in the bottom of the last inning
to slip past West for a 3-2 victory.
Whichever team won would tie for first place in the league’s final regular season
standings. So, the win gave Ashley a tie with Laney for first place, while the Lady
Trojans finished the regular season in third place.
West starts the conference tournament this week.
The score was tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Ashley’s
Eliza Holleman dropped in a blooper 10 feet behind third base.
“She’s hitting like .115 for the year,” Ashley coach Chip Adams said. “When she took
off for second, I was screaming, ‘No!’”
Holleman dived into second base safely and later went to third on a high pitch.
West pitcher Caroline Gore struck out the next two batters — one swinging and one
Then Taylor Carter, leadoff batter for the Screaming Eagles, hit another blooper in
almost the exact same place. West shortstop Abbey Dyson charged toward the ball as
soon as it came spinning off the bat, but the ball dropped in near the left-field
line and Holleman scored the winning run.
“We snuck that ball in on the foul line,” Adams said. “I thought their shortstop was
going to catch it.”
West coach Joe Nobles just shook his head afterward and said, “They get two Texas
It was an inauspicious ending to a game filled with suspense.
“We played well,” Noble said. “We outplayed them in all aspects of the game.”
The Lady Trojans had only one error while the Screaming Eagles made five. Gore
struck out seven batters while winning pitcher Robin Kerr struck out two, issued the
only walk of the game and hit Gore with a pitch. She had to show the home-plate
umpire the mark on her hand where the ball hit her before he sent her to first base.
“We finally hit on a lineup from top to bottom where we’re putting the bat on the
ball,” Noble said.
The coach lamented that West left 11 runners on base but praised his players for not
The Trojans fell behind 2-0 in the first inning when Ashley’s Carter singled down
the left-field line, Lauren Brooks reached first on an error and Jordan Floyd
launched a double to deep left field to score both runners.
West tied the score in the fifth when Haley Long reached first on a fielding error
by the Ashley shortstop and went to second on Gore’s sacrifice. Maddi Emmons reached
first and Long scored on a throwing error by the Ashley pitcher. Leilani Emile
got on base when her grounder rolled through the third baseman’s legs.
A sacrifice by Nicole Phillips brought Emmons home to knot the score at 2-2.
The bottom of West’s lineup loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth. McKenzie
Benton singled and Ariana Thomas reached first when the Ashley pitcher threw the
ball into center field. Randaisa Daniels then executed a perfect bunt, leaving the
yellow softball spinning in place just in front of home plate while she zipped down
The bases were loaded when Haley Long ripped a line drive that looked like as if
would find the gap to the left of the shortstop and score the go-ahead run. But
Ashley shortstop Floyd, who had made an error in the previous inning, redeemed
herself by leaping to her right. She didn’t catch the ball but she did knock it
down, pick it up and throw to her catcher to get the force out at home.
“She made a heck of a play,” Noble said.
“That was huge,” Adams said.
The next two West batters flied out to shallow center field, and the Trojans left
the bases loaded for the second time in the game (the third and sixth innings).
West threatened to score more than Ashley did during the game.
“We didn’t get any pressure on them from the first inning to the last inning,” Adams
But they got enough runs to share the title.
“This senior class has lost only five or six conference games in four years,” Adams
Ashley also won the league last year, while Laney won it two years ago, he said.
Now that the regular season has ended, West gears up for the conference and regional
W. Brunswick 000 020 0—2 6 1
Ashley 200 000 1—3 6 5
WP: Robin Kerr LP: Caroline Gore
WB: Maddi Emmons 2-for-4, Caroline Gore 1-for-2, Nicole Phillips 1-for-3 (RBI),
Abbey Dyson 1-for-3, McKenzie Benton 1-for-4.
ASH: Taylor Carter 3-for-4 (RBI), Jordan Floyd 1-for-3 (2B, 2 RBI), Lauren Brooks
1-for-3, Eliza Holleman 1-for-3.