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Merkel’s tenth inning RBI propels Sylacauga softball passed rival Wolves


FAYETTEVILLE, Ala – The Sylacauga Lady Aggies took down rival Fayetteville 4-3 in Monday night’s match-up at Howard Parker Field.

After two scoreless innings, Sylacauga scored one run in the top of the third.  Aurielle Turner singled and advanced to third on Madison Martin’s sacrifice bunt, followed by a Maddi Ingram RBI single scoring Turner.  Fayetteville evened the score in the bottom half of the inning. Allye Buttram led off with a single and scored on an error when Natalie Ritchey put the ball in play.

The Lady Wolves took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Buttram, who was hit by by a pitch, scored on a RBI single from Kathryn Holley.  Ritchey followed with a single, and scored on Natalie Liner’s Sac-fly to right field giving Fayetteville a 3-1 lead.

The Aggies tied the Wolves when they added two more runs in the top of the sixth.  Neeley- Scott Murphree and Raegan Wills both hit singles and scored when pinch hitter Madison Hurst hit a two RBI triple into right field.

Tied 3-3 after seven innings of play, the contest moved on to extra innings.  The eighth and ninth saw neither team score.

Sylacauga’s Ingram led off the top of the tenth with a single and stole second base on the first pitch to Kaleigh Smith.  Smith then layed down a sacrifice bunt that moved Ingram over to third.  McKenzie Merkel was next to step up to the plate, hitting into center field with the game winning RBI.  The Aggies pitching and defense held strong in the bottom of the tenth to clinch the win.

Sylacauga’s Lani Varner was the winning pitcher, striking out thirteen batters while  issuing only two walks (both in the first inning) and allowing seven hits.  Both Varner and Fayetteville’s Jessica Darling pitched the entire 10 innings.  The Aggies produced 14 hits.  Aurielle Turner led the team with three hits while Maddi Ingram,  McKenzie Merkel and Neeley-Scott Murphree had multiple hits with two each.

The Lady Aggies now stand at 9-6-1 on the season and will be back in action on Tuesday, April 2, when they host Horseshoe Bend at Pinecrest Park at 4:30 p.m.

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