Garner softball outlasts Overhills, 10-3
Posted May 10
Updated May 11
Garner, N.C. — Garner rebounded after an early deficit to defeat Overhills, 10-3, at South Garner High School Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state softball playoffs.
Despite Overhills’ losing record heading into postseason play, Garner manager Moe Barbour said the Trojans knew they couldn’t underestimate the Jaguars.
“Once you get into the playoffs here, they realize what’s at stake,” Barbour said. “It’s not easy to play as a favorite … I don’t’ care what seed you’re playing, it’s tough. We’re glad to get out of here with a win.”
Overhills knocked the heavily favored Trojans back to Earth quickly in the contest with two runs in the first inning.
Trojan starting pitcher Mikayla Brumbles gave up a two-out RBI double to Overhills senior Autumn Davis that gave the Jaguars an early two-run lead.
Brumbles settled in after her first-inning blunder, surrendering only one run in the next five innings.
Garner responded after Davis’ go-ahead drive with three runs of its own in the latter half of the first inning to claim the lead, an advantage the Trojans wouldn’t surrender for the remainder of the contest.
The Trojans started the first inning off with three-straight hits from Kira Jackson, Kristina D’Arco and Haleigh Joyner to knot score; Libby Bynum grounded out to first, but Joyner crossed home plate for the 3-2 lead.
“I wasn’t concerned; we averaged 12 runs a game,” Barbour said. “We’ve swung the bat all year, and that’s really what has carried us. I knew we would get some runs.
“[I] was a little shocked with two in the first, but we came right back and answered in the first. That was big right there.”
Brumbles added to her cause at the plate in addition to her strong performance on the mound Wednesday afternoon.
The freshman extended the Trojans’ to 4-2 after an RBI single in the latter half of the third inning. Brumbles finished Wednesday night with four RBI.
Megan Meurer knocked home Davis in the fourth to cut the Garner lead to one run, but that would be the closest Overhills would come to capturing the lead.
The Jaguars left two runners on the bags in the fourth inning, a recurring trend that plagued the Overhills all afternoon.
Overhills had the go-ahead runner at the plate in the fourth inning, and runners in position to knot the score in the sixth, but the Jaguars couldn’t muster up enough offense to get the job done.
Garner took advantage of the Jaguars’ misfortunes to score six unanswered runs over the final three innings.
The Trojans turned a three-run game into a seven-run contest after exploding for four runs in the sixth inning.
The combination of D’Arco, Jackson and Brumbles struck again, all tallying RBIs in the frame.
No. 25 seeded Overhills finishes the 2017 with a 9-12 overall record and 7-5 mark in the Mid-South Atlantic Conference.
Garner (19-2, 13-1 GNRC) – the No. 5 seeded team in the east – will host No. 11 seeded Panther Creek (19-3, 13-3 SWAC) in the second round of the state playoffs at 7 p.m. on Friday.