Jordan-Matthews erases four-run deficit to beat North Moore, 7-6, in extra innings

The Jets use their comeback tendencies to sweep the Mustangs


BEAR CREEK — Jordan-Matthews’ softball team may have to be referred to as the “comeback kids” after another wild finish on April 10.

Down 6-2 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, the Jets rallied back to beat North Moore, 7-6, winning on a walk-off RBI by sophomore Cassidy Graves in the eighth inning. This is the second time the Jets had to climb out of a hole and win in extra innings this season as they came back from down 10-0 to beat Bartlett Yancey in eight innings on March 19.

“They figured out how to keep their energy level up even when things aren’t necessarily going their way,” Jordan-Matthews head coach Holly Felder said. “The biggest thing I’m seeing them grow in is competing at the plate which is all you can ask for.”

Jordan-Matthews had little problems getting runners on base to start the game, however, it was a struggle bringing them home. The Jets left seven runners on base in the first four innings, meanwhile, North Moore, after jumping out to a 2-1 lead after the first inning, built on its advantage.

Junior pitcher Marcy Clark didn’t strike any batters out in the first four innings, but solid fielding behind her helped keep the Mustangs at just two runs until the top of the fourth. In that inning, Clark and the Jets’ defense were faced with loaded bases, and a triple to deep right field by North Moore pitcher Sydney Russell brought in three runs to put the Mustangs ahead, 5-2.

Immediately after, sophomore Lilliana Hicks replaced Clark at the mound.

Russell reached home after an error in the following at-bat, but after that, Hicks closed the door shut on North Moore’s bats. Between the fifth and sixth innings, Hicks saw just seven batters and struck out five of them.

“I was moving the ball in and out,” Hicks said. “I think our pitch sequence was really good. Reagan (Smith) behind the plate works really well to give me the pitches I need, and my defense worked behind me.”

Meanwhile, the base runners finally started making their way home for the Jets. After Smith hit a single to start the bottom of the fifth inning, a dropped pitch on North Moore’s end and another single from junior Kelsey Morris brought Smith around to third base.

Senior Korbyn Kirchner’s sacrifice hit brought Smith home to bring the Jets within three runs, and a double from Graves in the following at-bat brought Morris around to make the score 6-4.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Jets were granted a bit of luck and misfortune when a pop up from junior Sophia Murchison dropped between a circle of North Moore defenders just before center field, sending Murchison to first base but getting Clark out at second. A double to deep center field from Smith in the next at-bat sent Murchison home for the Jets’ fifth run, and after a Hicks single went under the first baseman’s glove, Smith once again came around to tie the game at six runs.

The Jets’ defense remained stout in the seventh inning, allowing just one hit in four batters to hold North Moore scoreless once again.

With a chance to win the game in the bottom of the inning, Jordan-Matthews, with two outs, loaded the bases after a couple of walks and a double from senior Logan Gunter. But, Murchison, taking the potentially game-winning at-bat, hit the ball near North Moore shortstop Ansley Preslar, who threw Clark, the runner on first base, out at second.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Jets once again only faced four batters, and Hicks’ seventh strikeout was the final out to keep the score tied going into their next at-bats.

“(Hicks) was all gas,” Felder said. “I could tell it was in her. She was ready to win.”

After back to back singles from Smith and Hicks, Kirchner also got on base with a bunt to load the bases with just one out.

Graves followed at the plate, and with a short hit to the middle of the field, she brought Smith home for the winning run just as North Moore’s catcher missed the second baseman’s attempt for an out.

With the comeback win, Jordan-Matthews completed the season sweep over North Moore to further strengthen its position as the second place team in the Mid-Carolina 1A/2A conference. Jordan-Matthews beat the Mustangs in their first meeting, 11-8, on March 8. As of Monday, the Jets are 8-0 in conference play.

“Everybody’s really competitive this year in conference,” Felder said. “I think it can go several different ways depending on how things go. We’ve got to keep being ready for everybody the second time around.”