By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
TURBOTVILLE -- It looked as though Warrior Run and Southern Columbia were ticketed for extra innings with how well their defenses played Tuesday.
Gabby Shrawder had other ideas.
With a 2-1 count in the bottom of the seventh, the Defenders leadoff batter dug in her heels and took a swing. All the senior center fielder was hoping for with two outs was to keep the inning going.
As soon as she made contact, Warrior Run coach Garth Watson began jumping up and down in the third-base coach's box as he watched the ball soar. He seemed to instantly know it was gone, and sure enough it was.
The homer -- Shrawder's second of the game -- kept the Defenders undefeated on the season with a 3-2 win over new HAC-II foe Southern Columbia in the anticipated game that featured two state finalists from last season.
"Yeah, we knew (it was going to be tough), especially since they made it to the state championship last year (in Class A), and so did we (in Class AA)," said Warrior Run ace Taylor Parker, who had 10 strikeouts. "I knew it was going to be a battle."
Warrior Run (7-0) couldn't get its bats going early, stranding a runner in each of the first three innings against the Tigers (4-3).
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Carra Rishel hit a nice single down the left-field line and advanced to third base on a fielding error. Laura Bastian then put down a bunt along third-base line which Southern Columbia pitcher Mallory Tomaschik fielded and turned into a great play to catch Rishel in a rundown and prevent a run.
Two batters later, Shrawder hit her first home run of the game, a deep shot to left-center field that scored Bastian and tied the game at 2-all.