One swing changed the game, and maybe the season, for Plainview on Monday.
Tiphani Napier’s three-run home run was the spark in a 3-0 win over Davis at Plainview High School. The fifth-inning shot came in a contest where big hits were scarce, as pitchers Tayte Sampson and Lexi Williams were holding each team’s lineup at bay.
Scoreless through 4 1/2 innings, the probability of the game coming down to one swing increased after every out, and Plainview was able to capitalize.
With the win, the Indians improved to 8-7 and have posted back-to-back shutouts after two run-rule defeats at the Hall of Fame Shootout last weekend.
“We’re hopefully turning around the season here,” Plainview coach Alicia Foster said. “They’ve been looking for that good win where we have a pretty good outing — defensively, pitching and offensively. I think tonight we got that.
“We did have a couple of errors, which is expected with the younger teams, but they regrouped instead of fall apart. Today we stayed up and got the win out of it.”
Sampson, a freshman, pitched all seven innings, allowing three hits while striking out five. Casady Webb had all three hits for Davis (11-4), going 3-for-3 with two doubles. Otherwise, at the plate, Davis’ hitters were left wanting.
Webb’s double in the top of the fourth nearly was a homer. Against a strong wind blowing into the stadium, her deep shot dropped at the base of the wall in left field.
Davis also put two runners on base in the top of the sixth via an error and a Webb single. But the Wolves grounded into a fielder’s choice and popped out to end the threat.
“We’re better hitters than that,” Davis coach David Griffin said. “We had some individuals that hit pretty good today, we just as a team didn’t hit it.
“You have to hand it to them, they played good defense. We stop them, they stop us, but the difference was one ‘kapow.’”
In the bottom of the fifth, Phaedra Moore led off with a single and Kaylee Roskam had a one-out base hit to put two runners on for Plainview.
With two outs, Napier smoked a line drive over the wall in left-center field for the 3-0 lead.
“To be able to lead the team to help us win is really good,” said Napier who was 2-for-3. “I think we were just pulling it too hard and the wind was making it go up. I think after I got the hit, everyone just went from there.”
Williams went six innings for Davis in the circle, striking out two and walking none. Besides Napier’s blast, she held Plainview to six singles.
Despite three errors as a team, Napier said the Indians had a good defensive game to back her game-winning drive.
“I think that’s one of the best games we’ve ever played defensively,” Napier said. “We’ve been having our ups and downs, and I think that was our first actual game that we made errors and built up from them.”
Erik K. Horne