Madison Hollis was just waiting for the right pitch. She got it.
Hollis provided the heroics Monday, drilling a game-winning double in the bottom of the fifth to lift the WCMS softball team to a 2-1 victory over White County.
Warren County (12-1) needed everything Hollis could offer, including pitching five innings and holding White County without a run for the final four innings. Her performance in the circle was stellar, but it was her final at-bat that stole the show.
The Lady Pioneers trailed 1-0 entering the fifth, with each out threatening to bring to an end the team’s eight-game winning streak.
Bella Cantrell led off the fifth with a single, using her speed to reach after laying down a perfectly placed bunt. Mea Starkey used the same strategy, and a throwing error not only allowed her to reach, but moved both Lady Pioneers into scoring position.
With the tying run at third, coach Joe Damon was aggressive in trying to score. His opportunity arose on a wild pitch, when he sent Cantrell home. The speedster was able to slide in under the tag, much to the protest from the White County stands.
Starkey advanced to third on the pitch, but was picked off when she strayed too far away from the base on Shelby Roberts’ bunt.
Hollis came up with the game tied and the winning run on first. She patiently waited for a pitch she could drive, working the count to 2-2 before pouncing. Hollis got a pitch over the plate, which she connected on and sent it flying to the center-field fence.
Roberts never broke stride rounding the bases, getting the wave in from Damon while Hollis cruised in to second. Roberts scored standing up, ending the game on Hollis’ big blast.
“I got a pitch right in my wheelhouse. I had to drive it,” said Hollis.
It was part of an all-around dominant performance for Hollis on eighth-grade night. After allowing a lead-off walk and two-out double in the first, Hollis silenced White County. She finished with a season-high 10 strikeouts.
Roberts and Cantrell finished with a team-high two hits each. Hollis, Starkey, Marli McBride and Halo Armstrong had one hit each.
Warren County went for the sweep of White County Tuesday on the road. The outcome was unavailable at press time. The Lady Pioneers return to action next Monday, April 16 with a home game against Franklin North. The first pitch is set for 5 p.m.