By Paul Hines
WOODLAWN — Salem's softball team led when it counted against the Lady Cardinals on Wednesday.
Woodlawn was up for most of the game, but Salem took control in the seventh and claimed an 8-5 victory.
“We kind of looked like we were a little complacent there in the middle,” Woodlawn coach Matt Patterson said. “We got a little lead, and we just set on it, didn't have as good of at-bats offensively and then relaxed in the field.”
Salem jumped out to an early lead, but it was Woodlawn initially fighting back and holding a lead until the final inning.
Salem was down 5-4 going into the seventh inning but struck for four runs to claim control. Salem's leadoff hitter in the inning reached on an infield single. Ashlynn Keen knocked a double to tie the game at 5-5. The big blow came with Salem leading 6-5. Ashley West launched a deep drive to center field. Allison England raced back and made a play on the fly ball, but it bounced off her glove. Two runs scored on the play to make the score 8-5.
“The proverbial snowball got us,” Patterson said. “And it got big in a hurry.”
Early in the game, Woodlawn trailed 1-0. Taytum Murdock tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI single. Woodlawn tacked on two more runs in the second. England and Kiara Lueking both hit RBI singles to right with two outs to give Woodlawn a 3-1 edge.
“I thought for the most part offensively we did a good job,” Patterson said. “We had a pretty good approach, and we got some big hits. We let off the gas peddle.”
Woodlawn's lead was as much as 5-2 before Salem chipped away at the advantage.
Kiara Lueking started the game and pitched five innings while striking out three batters. Carly Ethridge threw the final two innings.
“We've got six (games) in four days so we're trying to spread out some innings,” Patterson said.
Woodlawn is 11-10 overall this season and hosts Nashville today.