Meridian Star

Sports

April 4, 2014

Enterprise softball edges Clarkdale, 4-0, in key area matchup

MERIDIAN — Enterprise High School and Clarkdale High School squared off in a pivotal district 5-2A softball matchup Thursday, with Enterprise emerging with a 4-0 win.

Both squads entered the contest undefeated in district play with only four district matchups remaining.  

“This win is huge,” Enterprise coach Davey Dewitt said. “It’s a rivalry game, but we’re now in first place in the district.”

Enterprise (8-5-1, 4-0) proved to be the team less phased by the marquee affair, as EHS stole four bases and committed zero fielding errors, while CHS had two base runners picked off and committed four errors.

“That’s huge,” Dewitt said. “That’s what I just got finished telling the girls. When you don’t make errors, good things happen.”

Emmalee Roberts (8-3) tossed seven innings, and stymied the Clarkdale hitters to the tune of two hits, a lone walk and a strikeout.

“Our defense was steady behind Emmalee,” Dewitt said. “And that’s what we harp on, to make every play. Don’t give them anything. You can’t give good teams extra outs. Our shortstop (Delaney Davidson) made three great plays.”

In the circle for Clarkdale (8-7, 3-1), freshman Merideth Hunt managed to keep her team within striking distance, despite the Bulldogs’ shaky defensive effort behind her.

“I hate it for Merdeth that we lost this game,” Clarkdale coach Britt Bennett said. “I thought she pitched a great game. She handled the game like a senior.”

In the fourth, Enterprise broke a scoreless game with a lone run. With two outs, Harley Smith singled to right field that was misplayed by Breanna Ivey, allowing Smith to slide safely into second. Smith advanced to third following a throwing error by Hunt, and scored following another Clarkdale error.

“A couple of times on bunt attempts, we panicked,” Bennett said. “Which speed can sometimes do to you. But you have to tip your hat to them. We got outplayed.”

EHS applied pressure throughout the contest was unable to break through for any more runs, until a three-run seventh inning.

“That’s our game,” Dewitt said. “That’s what we have to do. We’re blessed with speed, and we have to put pressure on teams. We have to bunt, we have to steal, we have to hit-and-run.”

In the seventh, two consecutive singles gave Enterprise the scoring opportunity. Kaleigh Russell scored on Brittany Hagwood’s fielder’s choice, which was misplayed by the Clarkdale defense. Blakely Riley drove in the second run with an RBI grounder, and the final run crossed home on another fielder’s choice.

In the bottom half, Clarkdale managed to get two runners on base with one out, but Roberts was able to induce two consecutive ground balls to end the game.

“i just tried to keep my pitches low,” Roberts said. “I was able to hit my spots. My defense was great behind me tonight.”

Enterprise travels to Wayne County Saturday for a doubleheader against St. Martin High School and Quitman. Clarkdale returns to district action Tuesday when they travel to Lake High School.

“We’ve battled back all year,” Bennett said. “We’ve got a young team, but they’re starting to learn that gritty mentality and I think we will be fine.”

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