CARTERVILLE – Carterville fell behind 5-0 early and trailed 9-2, but scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, including a walk-off grand slam by Sydney Monje to beat Anna-Jonesboro, 12-10, in an SIRR Mississippi Division softball battle Monday.
“I had two strikes on me and I was nervous, so I thought just extend it to the next batter and score one run a time. I looked over at coach and he told me calm down and just hit the ball and I did,” Monje said.
The game featured a total of 28 hits and eight errors that allowed four runs to score and four wild pitches that also allowed four runs to cross the plate. In addition, there were seven walks and four hit batsmen from a total of five pitchers.
Anna-Jonesboro third baseman Tobie Treece finished with three hits in three at-bats while Carterville’s Hanna Schulmeister had three hits in five at-bats.
Carterville (7-5, 3-4 Mississippi) trailed 10-6 heading into the bottom of the seventh when the leadoff batter McKenzie Rogman laid down a bunt and reached when the third baseman’s throw was in the dirt. Anna Hartford joined on a base by beating out a bunt and Tomi Boggess did the same with a high pop fly that fell in between the second baseman going out and the right fielder coming in to load the bases with no outs against Britini Helton, who had taken over in the sixth.
Helton (2-5) got ahead of the ninth batter in the order Megan Beach 0-2, but two pitches later hit her to force in a run. Schulmeister hit an 0-1 pitch sharply past the first baseman to drive in a run to cut the lead to 10-8 leaving the bases loaded with no outs.
Helton got the first out when Abbey Crain tried to bunt her way on, but the third baseman threw home for the force out still leaving the bases loaded, but with one out bring Montana Taylor to the plate. Taylor, who had singled in a run in the third popped out to third in foul territory to bring Monje to the plate with two outs with the winning run at first.
“This is what you would expect from a senior who’s been on a state championship team and a starter for the last three years,” Capie said. “Not many people I would want up in that situation and she came through for us.”
Helton fell behind 1-0 on a high and outside pitch, but got ahead in the count when Monje swung and missed on two high pitches. The next pitch was launched over the fence in the left field corner to complete the comeback and give the win to Boggess. For the senior first baseman it was second home run of the season and her second career grand slam.
“I was so excited I was just trying to hit it as hard as I could, but missed those two high pitches,” Monje said. “The next pitch was right down the middle and I knew it was out the second I hit it.”
Starting third baseman Taylor was Carterville’s starting pitcher making her first start since grade school. The senior right-hander pitched into the sixth giving up six runs on 10 hits.
“Montana battled for us and kept us close, despite not seeing live batters for a few years,” Capie said. “Tomi Boggess did a great job when we were within striking distance in the final innings.”
“We were in a position to win the ballgame, but we didn’t take care of business,” said Anna-Jonesboro coach Rodney Seip. “If you give Carterville five or six outs they are going to make you pay for it.”
Mallory Sizemore took in the fifth with a runner at first and one out. The freshman right-hander allowed two runs to score on wild pitches and gave up a two-run triple to Morgan Wendling.
Boggess (5-4) took over in the sixth and set the side down in order, but gave up an unearned run in the seventh when she hit Jazmin Foster with one out and the shortstop scored when she stole second advanced to third on an over-throw by the catcher and scored when the centerfielder mishandled the ball.
Anna-Jonesboro (6-6, 3-3 Mississippi) jumped on Taylor for two runs in the first on a fielder’s choice by Wendling and a wild pitch. The Lady Wildcats doubled their lead in the second four consecutive hits with one out by Payton Alsip, Katie Shephard, Lexi Macy and Foster.
Anna-Jonesboro upped its lead to 5-0 on wild pitch with a bases loaded and one out, but Taylor got out of the inning by striking out the next two batters.
Carterville cut the lead to 5-2 with a run in the third on a two-out base hit by Taylor and a run in the fourth on a bases loaded two out single by Schulmeister.
The Lady Wildcats seemingly blew the game open in the fifth scoring four runs on three hits and two wild pitches, but the Lady Lions came right back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth on back-to-back one-out doubles by Monje and Madison Campbell, who entered the game for Gracie Taylor, who was injured on her previous at-bat in the fourth inning, followed by a RBI single by Rogman, an error that allowed a run to score and a RBI single by Boggess.
Carterville cut the lead to 9-6 in the sixth on a two-out error by the catcher trying to throw out Schumeister stealing second after she led off the inning with a ground ball base hit.