Story and photo by Matthew Yoder –
Chincoteague vaulted into first place in the softball standing, following a long-awaited win against Nandua last Thursday, May 13 on the island. Nandua scored a run in the top of the first after Hailey Justice brought home Lyric Sampson, who reached on a three-base error by the Ponies’ infield. That 1-0 score would remain intact for much of the early part of the game, as both starting pitchers, Alex McComb for Chincoteague and Reghan Hintz for Nandua, settled into stellar command against the batters they faced.
Chincoteague started to break-out in the bottom of the fourth after Sara Godwin led off and reached on an error. A hit by Emma Jackson set up Allie Bell, who drove in both runners with a double to right center. Lily Mathews then sneaked a double tight down the third baseline to bring in Bell, prompting Hintz’s departure from pitching. Marley Katsetos added another run for the Ponies, doubling deep to left off Alana Shea.
The Warriors responded in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs to cut the lead to one. An infield single from Sampson scored Carol Hope Greer, and Hailey Justice added an RBI single. Maddy Farrell tracked a deep flyout to left from Reagan Justice to keep her team in the lead.
The Ponies gained back three runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Bell brought in two more with a sacrifice fly, and Mathews picked up her third RBI of the game with a single.
McComb’s ability to take on Nandua’s hitters effectively shut down any comeback hopes for the Warriors. A lineout double play to her in the top of the sixth dampened the last best chance the Warriors would have at cutting into the Ponies’ lead. In the final inning, McComb would strike out two in the top of the seventh for the complete game victory, which some in attendance had waited many years to witness against the perennial powerhouse Warriors.