Moore lifts Tigers past Panthers|Hits walk-off single in the seventh

Published 2:15 pm Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sports Writer

WILLIAMSTON — It was a night to celebrate all the seniors and their dedication to Williamston softball, but on this Senior Night the final play was made by a girl who has a long time to go before she becomes an honored upperclassman.
Locked in a scoreless tie with one out and a runner on third, Tigers’ freshman Dasia Moore did what most of the Williamston players could not do all game, get a hit of Northside ace Lilyann Arnold.
Moore, the speedy Williamston leadoff batter, and her coach Damon Hayes contemplated a squeeze play, but with the Panthers infield playing in the coach decided to let her swing away.
The moved paid off for the Tigers as Moore roped the ball to right field, bringing home pinch runner Samantha Lilly, who was running in place of freshman catcher Rachel Baker who reached base on an error.
“When (Northside) called time out (during the final at-bat) we were talking about squeezing,” Hayes said. “I wanted to see how they would play Dasia. If they were playing in I was going to let her swing a couple of times … It just so happen she got a pitch to hit.”
Northside coach Louise Beirne credited both teams for their hard play.
“Both teams played with a lot heart,” Beirne said. “We had some hits but we just could not string them together.”
Moore’s hit broke the stalemate with the Panthers on Friday, but created a logjam at the top of the Four Rivers Conference as Northside (10-2), Williamston (9-2) and Southside each have only two conference loses.
Both of the Panthers’ defeats came at the hands of Williamston, while the Tigers lost to Camden and Southside and the Seahawks fell to Camden and Northside. As of now, the Tigers control their own destiny and if they can win their final two games, which includes a matchup with Southside.
Leading up to Moore’s game-winner, Panthers’ hurler Arnold had been locked in a pitchers’ duel with Tigers’ ace Harris Shepherd.
Arnold threw a dynamic changeup which allowed her strike out six batters and scatter seven hits. She walked none.
Shepherd spread out five hits over seven innings and struck out four batters, and like her counterpart, issued zero walks.
Arnold was backed up by a phenomenal defense that made several web-gem caliber plays to keep the game scoreless.
Leftfielder Lalee Alligood avoiding crashing with centerfielder Hannah Bowen to make an amazing sliding catch in the second inning with two outs and runners on second and third.
Northside shortstop Amanda Daw continued to show why she is one of the top players in the area as she made a key heads up play in the bottom of the sixth when she backed up third baseman Caroline Slade on a hard hit ball that slipped under her glove. Daw dove, keeping the ball in the infield, then alertly got the ball to third base for a force out.
After the game Williamston took time out to honor seniors Cassie Harrell, Heather Jackson and Shepherd.
The Williamston trio has made numerous all-conference teams, but Hayes said its their intangibles that will be missed the most this time next year.
“We have been through a lot, all of us,” Hayes said. “They were leaders as freshmen and sophomores and they are very mature beyond their age. They controlled things on the field and in the clubhouse. Besides their abilities, that’s what you are going to miss the most.”
Northside 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Williamston 000 000 1 — 1 7 0
WP: Harris Shepherd; LP: Lilyann Arnold
Hitters: N — Lalee Alligood 2-3, Lilyann Arnold 2-3 (2B), Caroline Slade 1-3; W — Dasia Moore 1-4 (RBI), Cassie Harrell 1-3, Harris Shepherd 2-3, Rachel Baker 1-3 (R), Courtney Wynn 2-3.