Softball

Apex softball defeats Green Hope in extra innings, 3-2

Posted March 17

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— Apex scored three runs in each of the final three innings Friday afternoon to defeat host Green Hope, 3-2, and extend its win streak to four games.

“We struggled, and we really came out a little bit flat,” said Apex manager Dana Higgins. “We had a game last night that I think we’re still recovering from. They were finally able to figure it out and were getting more momentum and were able to get the win.”

Green Hope jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after two-out RBI single from Katie Asbill in the bottom of the first inning.

The Lady Falcons added to their lead in the bottom of the third with an RBI single from Kamron Philips that scored Kayla Tanner from third base.

Philips and Tanner both tallied three hits in the loss. Asbil finished 3 for 4 from the plate with one RBI.

Green Hope threatened again the following inning, but Apex fended off the Falcons with a 2-5-4 double play.

Madison Clifford tossed five scoreless innings for the Falcons, striking out four batters and surrendering only one hit.

Green Hope manager Logan Hill elected to send reliever Katelyn Ellard out in the sixth inning. Ellard gave up three runs, two hits, one walk and struck out two batters in the final three innings.

Apex scored two runs in the final two innings of regulation Friday night, both runs coming with the Cougars down to their final out.

The Cougars’ Samantha Pesot drew a two-out walk and was later driven home on a double from Olivia Oates to bring Apex within one run of the Green Hope lead.

Green Hope recorded two quick outs to start the top of the seventh inning, leaving Ashley Garwatosky as the Cougars’ last hope to extend the game.

The senior send Ellard’s fifth pitch of the at-bat sailing over the left field wall – her first hit of the game – to knot the score and send the game into extra innings.

“I love that kid [Garwatosky],” Higgins said. “She’s been swinging the bat really well and it was just a matter of time before that happened. It was perfect timing.”

Garwatosky said the two-run jack was the first home run of her four-year Apex career.

“I was just looking for a base hit to give ourselves another chance,” Garwatosky said. “I just hit it, and it felt really good. It was inside and that’s where I like them, so I just swung away.”

The Cougars held Green Hope at bay in latter half of the seventh inning and scored a run in the first frame of extra innings to seal the victory.

Shelby Poliachik started Apex off with a leadoff single and proceeded to steal second base shortly after.

Kayla Smith used a sacrifice bunt to move Poliachik to third base, and Pesot sailed a ball into right field to advance Poliachik in for the game-winning run.

Poliachik just beat the throw from the Falcons’ right field, sliding narrowly under the catcher’s attempted tag at home plate.

The Cougars moved to 1-1 in game this year when scoring three runs or less. Apex had outscored its opponents 29-1 in the three previous games.

Oates, Poliachik, Garwatosky and CJ Wright were the only Apex batters to record a hit Friday afternoon.

“We are a team that prides ourselves on the way we hit,” Higgins said. “It took a little while to wake up the bats, but we eventually got to it.”

Apex (7-1, 5-1 SWAC) will visit Panther Creek Tuesday afternoon for a 4:30 p.m. first pitch, and Green Hope (3-3, 2-3 SWAC) will take on host Cary two hours later at 6:30 p.m.

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