Groce strikes out 9 in Lincoln’s 7-1 win over rival Munford
by ERICH HILKERT
Mar 20, 2013 | 1816 views |  0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MUNFORD— Kierra Groce, a former Munford Lion, pitched a complete game for Lincoln while striking out nine batters and also coming up with two hits to lead the Lincoln Lady Bears past the Munford Lady Lions, 7-1.

“It feels good to beat Munford,” Lincoln head coach Jessica Dorough said. “That’s our biggest rival. It’s also a key win. It’s an area game that puts us 1-0 in the area. I feel like my girls stepped up tonight where they haven’t the past few ballgames. But they really stepped up tonight. I think we’re going to have a pretty good ball team this year.”

Lincoln struck first in the top of the first inning as Groce led off with a double to shallow center field. She was able to score on an errant throw to third base to make it 1-0. Krystal Calhoun followed that up with a single into the gap between shortstop and third base. Calhoun later scored when Brandy Decker hit a sharp grounder to shortstop and it wasn’t fielded cleanly, allowing Decker to reach on an error and pushing the lead to 2-0.

The game was stuck at 2-0 until the top of the sixth when Lincoln increased their lead. Decker hit a fly ball to center field, but Kedra Curtis was unable to make a clean catch. Decker went on to steal second base and third base. She came in to score on a grounder to shortstop by beating the throw home. Another run scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

Munford cut the lead down to 4-1 in the bottom half of the inning. Curtis reached first base on a ball hit to the gap in center-right field and advanced to second base on an errant throw. Curtis came around to score on a wild pitch.

In the top of the seventh inning, Lincoln tacked three more runs to their lead. Calhoun hit a single up the middle to score the first run of the inning. She later came around to score the second run on a dropped infield fly and the team added another run to make it 7-1.

Munford freshman Carleigh Taylor entered the game batting .565 and having reached base safely in nine of her last eleven at bats, hit a double to center field, but she was called out on a close play at third base when she tried to stretch the play into a triple.

Munford head coach Darrell Smith sees much improvement in his team from the start of the season.

“Our girls, they’ve come a long way since the first of the year,” he said. “The first two or three ballgames we couldn’t hit, couldn’t field or anything but here lately we’ve won five of our last six coming in to the night, but Lincoln—they’re well-coached, the pitching they’ve got is phenomenal. I don’t think we got but one hit tonight. The last five ballgames we’ve averaged about 15 runs a game and tonight you don’t get but one hit, you score one run, you can’t win. We made too many mistakes. It’s just things we’ve got to eliminate.”

He hopes it was just an off-performance for his team.

“In softball, you have those days every now and then,” he said. “Lincoln’s a great ball club. Like I said, they’re well-coached. Our goal is to just continually get better and by that area tournament be ready to win that thing and get in that regional tournament. So, that’s our ultimate goal. We’ve still got a long way to go but we’ll get there.”

At the plate for Lincoln, sophomore Ashley Joyce had two singles. Senior Quartavian Carmichael had a single and fellow senior Molly Perry had a double.