Mabe, Satterfield, Davis spark Raiders past Trojans

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – more than 700 images
* Round 2: Raiders, 5, Scotland 3 in extras
* Round 1: Raiders 14, Sabres 1
* Class 4A softball bracket

CHARLOTTE — Katie Satterfield knows that life is about more than softball.

The senior second baseman at Richmond Senior High School plans to enroll at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall and study biology. The aspiring obstetrician and gynecologist understands that, in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if she strikes out, goes hitless or makes an error in the field.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Katie Satterfield overcame a less than stellar game at the plate against Scotland last week to have a blast Wednesday at Olympic High School against the Trojans. Here's the swing that led to her two-run home run in the fifth inning.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Katie Satterfield overcame a less than stellar game at the plate against Scotland last week to have a blast Wednesday at Olympic High School against the Trojans. Here’s the swing that led to her two-run home run in the fifth inning.

But boy oh boy, it sure is fun to hit that little yellow ball.

So when No. 3 stepped into the batter’s box in the top of the fifth inning with teammate Doodle Jacobs on second after an RBI double, she was ready to redeem herself. She’d had a bad day at the plate on May 15 against rival Scotland — an 0-for-5 performance with two strikeouts, including one in the bottom of the 10th and last inning in a 5-3 10-inning victory.

Satterfield was more than a little frustrated, expressed in the slamming of the end of the bat into the ground after that last strikeout.

All of that left her mind and off her shoulders, however, when she connected with an offering from Olympic starter Lori McCoy. A fan on the Trojans side of the field was the first to call it, at least audibly.

“It’s gone,” he said.

It took Satterfield a little longer to realize it. As the ball traveled through the air over center field, over the head and out of reach of center fielder Brooke Sanford and beyond the outfield fence, Satterfield was still in a sprint as she rounded first but suddenly slowed, then smiled, and began her celebrated home run trot around the base paths.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Chelsea Davis smacks a two-run double in the first inning to lift the Raiders to an early 2-0 advantage in a third-round playoff game.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Chelsea Davis smacks a two-run double in the first inning to lift the Raiders to an early 2-0 advantage in a third-round playoff game.

“It felt real good,” Satterfield said slowly in her typical Southern drawl punctuated with an ear-to-ear grin while talking about the Raiders’ six-run fifth inning.

The home run swat pushed Richmond’s lead to 7-3 en route to a 10-4 third-round North Carolina Class 4A West Region tournament contest at Olympic High School in Charlotte. The win snapped the Trojans’ 10-game win streak and qualified the No. 4 Raiders to compete at 7 p.m. on Friday against top-seeded South Caldwell in Hudson.

Satterfield said she rarely gets in such a slump and, just as she did early in the season, figured she’d work her way out of it. Richmond coach Wendy Wallace expected nothing less.

“If she struggles one night,” Wallace said, her starting second baseman will come back stronger. While Satterfield watched freshman Owen Bowers smack a game-winning homer in extras against Scotland in the second round, Satterfield wasn’t seething — she was preparing her plan of attack.

“She’s going to get back to basics,” Wallace said of Satterfield. “She can’t stand to (struggle).”

And it worked out just fine. Satterfield, Wallace said, “came out hot as a firecracker,” but the stage was set by speedster leadoff hitter Kesley Mabe. Mabe went 3-for-3, stole three bases and scored three runs — first, third and fifth — to be a catalyst to everything else the Raiders offense could ignite.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com It all started with Kelsey Mabe, shown here sliding safely into second base.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
It all started with Kelsey Mabe, shown here sliding safely into second base.

“If we can get her on at the top of every inning, good things are gonna happen,” Wallace said.

Mabe earned her way on base a lot. A lot of good things happened for the Raiders.

The night before, the first attempt at getting this third-round game in was unsuccessful. On Tuesday, McCoy delivered the game’s first pitch to Mabe and it smacked into Vanni Bartkewicz’ catcher’s mitt.

On Wednesday, Mabe didn’t let it get that far. She returned McCoy’s first serve to center field, then stole second. Doodle Jacobs followed with a single to left, and both runners advanced on a throwing error. With two runners in scoring position, first baseman Chelsea Davis ripped a double to score the game’s first two runs.

Olympic’s own leadoff hitter, Ally Sherman, was the catalyst for her team’s offense as well. She singled to left and went to third on a throwing error. Sherman cut the Trojans’ deficit in half when she crossed home plate on Sanford’s RBI single to left. Raiders hurler NaLee Jacobs struck out Sam Bates looking and Jasmine Worthy swinging to end the threat.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Mabe again got things going in the third with a leadoff single up the middle. Mabe again stole second and moved to third when Jacobs hit into a fielder’s choice. Satterfield’s swing was steady and solid when she connected on a fly ball to center — caught by Sanford, but deep enough for Mabe to jog in to give Richmond a 3-1 lead.

Olympic again cut the lead to one in the bottom of the third. Raiders center fielder Haleigh Denham misplayed a fly ball by Sanford, who sped all the way to third. Sanford walked home when the first base umpire called NaLee Jacobs for an illegal pitch — her second of the game, but the first that amounted to anything.

In between innings, Trojan reserve Zoey Hudson-Fleming had something to say on that run.

“I don’t like that run,” she told a teammate.

The teammate asked why. Hudson-Fleming conveyed that it simply seemed as if the Trojans hadn’t earned it. The ump later explained that Jacobs’ right foot wasn’t staying in contact with the ground at all times — a rule put into place more than a year ago. Jacobs was called for the illegal move a third time in the seventh inning that again cut into Richmond’s lead.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Kesley Mabe scores on a close play at home in the top of the fifth inning for a 5-3 Richmond lead.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Kesley Mabe scores on a close play at home in the top of the fifth inning for a 5-3 Richmond lead.

Regardless, Olympic gave the run right back in the top of the fourth. Bowers’ fly ball to short was dropped, and Denham’s sacrifice bunt attempt was so good she made it safely to first. Peyton Fann executed a sacrifice bunt to move both runners over, and Bowers scored when Caroline Wilson flew out to left field — though the umpire’s call might have been able to go either way. The way it went, though, gave Richmond a 4-2 lead midway through the contest.

The Trojans hacked away at the deficit in their half of the fourth. Jasmine Worthy reached on an error and went all the way to second. She advanced to third on a passed ball and scored when Bartkewicz hit a blooper just out of Satterfield’s reach at second.

The Raiders broke the game open with a six-run fifth inning. Once again, Mabe started things off with a first-pitch single to center and stole second base. Jacobs knocked an RBI single to center and moved to second on the throw home to try and get Mabe. Satterfield socked her two-run homer for a 7-3 lead but Richmond was only halfway through batting around the lineup.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Owen Bowers is safe at first when the ball gets away from Olympic first baseman Katie Stahl. Bowers scored on a triple by Haleigh Denham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Owen Bowers is safe at first when the ball gets away from Olympic first baseman Katie Stahl. Bowers scored on a triple by Haleigh Denham.

Davis knocked her second double of the game and Bowers ripped a grounder to third baseman Bates. It was well-played, but the throw was off the mark. The error put both Davis and Bowers in scoring position for Denham, who smacked a bases-clearing triple for a 9-3 lead. Denham scored the Raiders’ 10th and final run when a McCoy pitch got away from Bartkewicz behind home plate.

 

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Raider third baseman Doodle Jacobs applies the late tag as Brooke Sanford slides into third in the bottom of the third inning. Sanford scored when the ump called an illegal pitch on Richmond pitcher NaLee Jacobs.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Raider third baseman Doodle Jacobs applies the late tag as Brooke Sanford slides into third in the bottom of the third inning. Sanford scored when the ump called an illegal pitch on Richmond pitcher NaLee Jacobs.

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