SIDNEY – The Versailles softball team won back-to-back games against Houston and Sidney on Saturday in the Sidney Invitational.
Versailles won the first game of the day 8-1 against Houston and then beat Sidney 3-2.
“Excellent,” Versailles coach Chris Floyd said of his team’s play on Saturday. “Excellent. We got great pitching performance in the first game out of Cori Lawrence and the second game kind of a tall order for the freshman Caitlin McEldowney, but she answered the call.”
Versailles quickly jumped out on top in game one with a run in the bottom half of the first inning when Sarah Gigandet drew a two-out walk and scored on a double by Hailey McEldowney to put the Tigers up 1-0.
Houston tied the game in the top half of the fourth inning. After Jess Monnier doubled and Jenna Jarrett walked, Sarah Monnier singled. Versailles threw Jess Monnier out at the plate to keep Houston off the scoreboard, but one batter later Emilee Foster drove in Jarrett with a RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.
The score didn’t remain tied for long, however, as Versailles came up with its biggest inning of the day in the bottom half of the frame.
Hailey McEldowney led off the inning with a double and scored on a single by Lawrence, making it 2-1. Mallory George then singled to put runners on the corners.
Houston retired the next two batters, but Versailles continued the rally with five consecutive hits.
First Caitlin McEldowney singled to drive in both runners and put Versailles up 4-1. After stealing second, Caitlin McEldowney scored on a single by Kami McEldowney to make it 5-1.
Following a bunt single by Brynna Blakeley, Gigandet hit a RBI single and Hailey McEldowney hit a RBI double to increase the advantage to 7-1.
“We carried that momentum from last night’s win to the plate,” Floyd said. “We were seeing the ball in that one. A little better pitching the second game against Sidney. But, yeah, we’re sticking to our process on hitting, and it’s paying off.”
Versailles scored the game’s final run in the sixth inning. Kami McEldowney led off the inning with a walk then scored when Blakeley laid down a bunt and Houston committed a throwing error.
The second game was much closer with Versailles winning by a single run.
The Tigers got off to a good start with two runs in the top half of the first inning when Blakeley reached on an infield single and Hailey McEldowney cranked a two-run home run over the fence.
“She’s been swinging the bat like that all year,” Floyd said of Hailey McEldowney. “A little inconsistent but we’re working that out.”
The score remained 2-0 until the third inning.
In the bottom of the third Sidney got back-to-back infield singles by Summer Inman and Mackenzie Bates to lead off the inning then Grace Shell walked to load the bases with no outs.
Versailles got the lead runner out at first on a grounder but then gave up consecutive RBI singles to Morgan Carey and Hayden Spurgeon to tie the game at 2-2.
It could have been much worse, but Versailles got out of the inning with another fielder’s choice out at home then a force out at third, leaving the bases loaded and the game tied at 2-2 at the end of the inning.
“We had plenty of fight, and we stuck to our plan, and we made some pitches and threw the gloves at them,” Floyd said.
Versailles regained the lead in the fifth inning. Caitlin McEldowney singled, Kami McEldowney reached on an error then Gigandet drove in Caitlin McEldowney with a single for what proved to be the game-winning hit.
“She’s been coming on here lately,” Floyd said of Gigandet.
With Saturday’s wins Versailles improved to 12-6 overall this season. The Tigers will play host to Arcanum on Monday.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.