With as much speed as Maize South senior Macy Allred has, it made sense to send her racing over to the junior varsity field to get freshman Kerrigan Dixon.
The situation was dire with two outs, two runners on and the Mavericks trailing host Augusta by a run in the top of the seventh. Maize South coach Teri Larson needed Dixon at the plate.
Dixon was pitching in the JV game, but when Allred raced through the crowd and started banging on the fence while jumping up and down and saying “we need Kerrigan,” Dixon left in the middle of facing a batter.
Dixon stepped in to face Augusta pitcher Brooke Eberhardt and immediately drove a pitch to center field, scoring two runs as Maize South came back to win 6-3. The Mavericks also won Game 1 8-0.
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“I was relaxed, not even nervous,” Dixon said. “It was a curveball, which are my favorite pitches. It was just there, so I took it.”
Maize South improved to 12-2, while Augusta is 14-4.
“That’s not the first time she’s done that for us,” Allred said. “She’s came in clutch for us several times, so that’s why Larson called her in.”
As all the pressure evaporated with Dixon’s hit, sophomore catcher Nicole Gaboian followed by smashing a two-run homer to center field for four runs in the top of the seventh.
“I’ve been struggling a lot this game,” Gaboian said. “ I’ve been hitting it hard, but I’ve been hitting it at people.”
It was Gaboian’s first home run of the season, and it made her mom, standing behind the bleachers, cry.
Gaboian smiled. “She’s a crier,” she said.
Maize South had a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth after a Kayla Jones RBI, but Augusta tied the score on Eberhardt’s homer in the bottom of the inning. In the fifth, catcher Casady Marlnee hit Kylie Wesbrook in for the 3-2 lead.
But those were all the runs Augusta could muster against Maize South.
The Orioles had five hits in Game 1, a shutout win for Maize South senior Kelsey Sterneker, who had eight strikeouts. She added seven more strikeouts when she came on in relief of Dixon with one out in the third — Sterneker struck out five in the sixth and seventh innings.
“The biggest thing that didn’t go well for us, I don’t think we were mentally prepared to face them,” Augusta coach Shane Steinkamp said. “You’re playing a good (Class) 5A team. It’s a mentality that it doesn’t matter who comes out here, you give yourself a chance to win.”
Maize South 8, Augusta 0
|Maize South||105||002||0||—||8 12 0|
|Augusta||000||000||0||—||8 12 0|
W — Sterneker. L —Hayes. HR — Sterneker, Maize South.
Maize South 6, Augusta 3
|Maize South||100||100||4||—||6 10 0|
|Augusta||100||110||0||—||3 8 3|
W — Sterneker. L — Eberhardt. HR — Eberhardt, Augusta.
Maize South freshman Kerrigan Dixon
Maize South senior Macy Allred
Maize South sophomore Nicole Gaboian
Augusta players work the field
Maize South coach Teri Larson
Augusta coach Shane Steinkamp