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Junior Softball: Halfway goes all the way to stay alive for another day

July 22, 2013|By WILL ROBINSON | will.robinson@herald-mail.com
  • Halfway #5 Courtney McGhee rear tags Caroline runner #6 Jamie Johansen out in the bottom of the 1st inning Monday night at Sharpsburg.
By Joe Crocetta /Staff Photographer

SHARPSBURG — With their backs against the wall, the Halfway lived to fight another day.

Halfway bounced back from Sunday’s 5-4 loss to Perryville with a three-run rally in the fifth inning to eliminate South Caroline 7-5 on Monday in a Maryland State Junior Softball Tournament losers’ bracket game.

“Caroline’s a great team. They’re solid from top to bottom,” said Halfway manager Mike Renn. “After a tough loss like last night, the girls had to come out and stay focused. We had good pitching and we got the clutch hits when we needed them tonight.”

Halfway erased a 3-1 deficit as Courtney McGhee reached on an error before Madi Renn walked to open the top of the fifth. Morgan Domer hit a one-out single to score McGhee and Jazmine Yost capped the rally with a two-run single for a 4-3 lead.

With the victory, Halfway gets a day off before playing in the losers’ bracket final. Monday’s nightcap — the winners’ bracket final between Perryville and South Maryland — was postponed by rain and will be played today at 7 p.m.

Halfway will face the loser of that game on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Emily Talbert started the game for Halfway, allowing three runs in four innings with six strikeouts. McGhee closed out the game in relief, notching five strikeouts and withstanding a brief rally from South Caroline.

Halfway extended its lead to 6-3 in the sixth as McGhee and Emily Crain scored on an error with the bases loaded.

It gave McGhee a cushion to work with as South Caroline scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth when Jamie Johansen doubled into the gap in left-center to plate Mallory Mathews and Courtney Marine, cutting the deficit to 6-5.

Crain added an insurance run for Halfway in the top of the seventh, driving in Jasmine White home with a single.

“Emily really came through with that hit,” Renn said. “She gave Courtney that comfort level to finish the game strong,” said Renn.

McGhee pitched a three-up, three-down seventh to preserve the Halfway victory.

“Courtney did an excellent job in relief. I couldn’t have asked for more from her,” Renn said. “She pitched with confidence and kept Caroline’s hitters off balance with her off-speed stuff.”

South Caroline drew first blood in the second inning when Cameryn Plugge scored on a Hannah Ross groundout.

Halfway tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning when Yost singled to plate Madi Renn.

Plugge scored again in the fourth on an error. Brea Bishop made it 3-1 by scoring on a groundout by M

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