Powerhouse too strong for Mulchers, wins 10-9

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Kathleen Hotte smashed a two-run homer as the Power-house used a six-run fifth inning one their way to defeating the Mulchers 10-9 in both teams’ Bennetts Creek Women’s Soft-ball League opener at Driver Elementary School on Tuesday. After falling behind 6-2 early on, the Powerhouse lived up to its name, knocking home eight runs in two innings to take the victory.

The Mulchers got on the board in the first inning. Betsy Laster reached on a fielder’s choice, and Alex Butler singled to left field. After Crystal Baucant walked to load the bases, Mary Kelly hit a long fly ball to right field. The fly was caught, but the cutoff throw went wild, allowing Laster and Butler to reach the plate.

Kelly got her chance to score in the fourth. She led off with a triple down the right field line, and scored on a sacrifice grounder by Wendy Redmon. But the Powerhouse started a rally in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Angie Dunavant belted a shot over the right-centerfield fence to cut the lead to 3-1. Renee McNeil reached on an error, and Sue Fleming singled to left field. A fielder’s choice by Krissy Braunchaud resulted in Fleming being forced out at second, but McNeil was able to move to third. Tisha Ricks then singled down the left field line, and McNeil scored.

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But Cathy Cross helped the Mulchers extend their lead in the next inning. She singled to centerfield, moved to third on a single by Baucant, and scored on a single by Lydia DeVenuto. Erin Shannon and Redmon walked to force home Baucant, and Kelly batted in her third run of the game, scoring DeVenuto with a single.

Unfortunately, the Powerhou-se took over from then on. Tara McClenney opened the fifth with a single, and Shelley Prescott flew out, bringing Kristy Cornett to the plate.

For the first part of the game, said Cornett, &uot;I had been playing too far up in the box. I needed to move back and relax a little. I hadn’t had a hit all game, so I had nothing to lose.&uot;

She had something to gain; Cornett bashed a triple down the left field line, bringing McClenney around. Hotte’s shot was next, and the lead was down to 6-5.

&uot;I knew it was going over from the way it came off the bat,&uot; said Hotte, who was named the 2002 TCIS Softball Coach of the Year after taking Nansemond-Suffolk Academy to the TCIS tournament title last season. &uot;That inning was definitely the turning point of the game.&uot;

It continued to turn, as Duna-vant and McNeil reached on singles. Sue Fleming hit a grounder to first, where it was fielded by Edye Phelps. As Phelps stepped toward first base, her ankle twisted, allowing Dunavant to come in to tie the score.

Branchaud singled to left field to score McNeil, but Butler threw Fleming out at third for out number two. Singles by Ricks and Hutch Hutchison and a double by McClenney scored two more runs, and the Powerhouse had grabbed a 9-6 lead.

After each team scored one run in the sixth, Butler led off the seventh with a single. Crystal Baucant walked, and Kelly recorded her fifth RBI with a single. A fielder’s choice resulted in Kelly being forced out at second, but Baucant moved to third, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Laster. Phelps hit a hard chopper toward second, but Ricks dove to the left to snare it, and flipped it to Fleming at first to take the win. The Powerhouse will attempt to continue its winning ways when it plays a double-header today.

In other competition, Melissa Whited, Delores Pope, Christine Parrish and Angela Woldmoe scored three runs apiece as the Teamsters charged past the Stingers, 24-6. Woldmoe also hit two home runs for the Teamsters, who will take on the Powerhouse at 7 p.m. today.