Wall holds off Jackson Liberty in softball
It's safe to say the rivalry is renewed.
Months after ousting Jackson Liberty in the Central Group 3 semifinals, Wall added more fuel to the Shore Conference C-Central Division's ongoing battle by defeating the same foe, 8-5, in a live-streamed softball contest on Monday afternoon.
Alexis Carlsson pitched seven strong innings, while Sydney Canessa drove in a pair of runs and Jess Goldman notched two hits and scored twice to ignite a stellar offensive outing.
Though Jackson Liberty had beaten Wall, 7-6, in Jackson on April 4 and by a 7-3 score at Wall on April 27 during the regular season, the playoffs were a different story. Wall flipped the switch and blanked Jackson Liberty, 2-0, in the highly magnified sectional semifinals.
"It's big because we've beaten Jackson Liberty the last two years in the semifinals," Carlsson said. "We knew it'd be a battle and we knew we'd have to hit. But everyone showed their talent."
While Jackson Liberty figures to be a pesky team in Group 3, Wall has bigger aspirations thanks a strong returning core -- and that notion was on display in this one.
"We have a great core," Carlsson said. "We are used to our lineup."
Wall scored one in the first inning, three in the second, two in the third and two more in the fourth to claim an 8-0 lead entering the final inning.
Carlsson, who had yielded just four hits through six frames, began to tire and felt the sting of Jackson Liberty's potential.
The visiting squad scored with no outs and eventually loaded the bases. Then Valerie Gambino blasted a grand slam to bring her team within three runs. But Carlsson settled down and retired the side to seal the win.
Amy Hickman pitched six gritty innings and Adelle Hickman went 2-for-3 for Jackson Liberty.