|Knights senior boys stops Stingrays’ sweep|
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jun 08, 2012
Keith Moss’ standing triple, in the top of the seventh, became the play of the day for the C.R. Walker Knights in the third and decisive championship game in the Government Secondary Schools Sporting Association (GSSSA).
The pop-fly to the centerfield by Moss not only cleared the bases, but drove in the two runs which gave the Knights the 14-12 win over the C.V. Bethel Stingrays senior boys. The win for the Knights came just minutes after their senior girls lost their title to the Stingrays’ female squad. The Knights, the defending champions in the senior girls’ division, were stopped in the fifth by the Stingrays who won 13-3.
After hearing the news, that their senior girls had fallen to the Stingrays, first baseman Van Hutchinson Jr. said their team was not about to allow the Stingrays to celebrate the double victory.
The bunt, in the bottom of the seventh by Stingrays’ Courtney Smith, was fielded by Hutchinson who scooped it over to Bryan Harvey. Smith was the first out in that frame. The Knights let the next batter slide on through to second, but he died on the base as the pitcher struck out the next two faced. Hutchinson said: “We needed to win this one. This game was special to us because we were late in the first one. We weren’t able to warm-up in that game and we were batting first. That was a bad start for us because we were in a hole and couldn’t recover. It was a tough loss because it was only by one. The next game we called a meeting and came back out with a strategy. We executed as a team in that game and this one. One of our starters is out but we still were able to come through and we thank God.
“We weren’t worried because we played together as a team. This is what we worked hard all season for so it was time to play hard. We needed to clean-up on our defense because defense wins games. Our bats were alive and we didn’t care who we were facing. We had faith in each other, knowing we were going to score but we needed to get stops.”
Six runs came across the plate in the bottom of the fifth for the Stingrays. Those were the last runs the team will score. The Knights added one run in the sixth, by Moss and two in the seventh. Harvey and Clint Johnson scored the final two runs for the Knights.
Unlike their senior boys, the Knights’ senior girls struggled on offense. They didn’t score until the fourth inning. By that time, the Stingrays had already posted four runs. They added another three runs, in the fifth holding the Knights to just one in the bottom part of that frame.
The Stingrays are the pennant winners and were the favorite heading into the best-of-three series with the Knights. Head coach Kelly Smith said she wasn’t worried and did not view the Knights’ senior girls as a threat.
“I told them that I can not come on the field and play for them,” said Smith to the team who dropped the first game in the series. “They knew they had to play for it and could do it. They wanted it bad so they took it. We didn’t make any changes because all of my girls can play anywhere on the field. It was just a matter of catching the ball and throwing it where it is suppose to be.”
The softball season is the final activity on the GSSSA’s calendar and brings the after school program to a close.