Fort Mill Sports

Gardner leads Nation Ford softball team past Clover

Gardner's big bat sets tone for Nation Ford in win

An outpouring of runs helped the Nation Ford high School softball team post big Region 4-5A win over Clover just before spring break. Carly Gardner of Nation Ford hit a double and drove in three RBI in the win.
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An outpouring of runs helped the Nation Ford high School softball team post big Region 4-5A win over Clover just before spring break. Carly Gardner of Nation Ford hit a double and drove in three RBI in the win.

Falcons softball outslug Clover

By Mac Banks

Times correspondent

FORT MILL – The Nation Ford softball team’s bats came alive when they needed to as they outslugged the Clover Blue Eagles with a 15-4 win to even their record in Region IV at 2-2.

The Falcons were led by a 3-3 performance from Carly Gardner who hit a double and drove in three RBI. Both Madison Arnold and Katie Stahl went 2-3. Arnold hit a triple and drove in two runs and McLauren Sarvis went 1-3 with a double and two RBI as well as Nation Ford scattered 10 hits in the game.

“Our goal is to try and host a playoff game,” said Nation Ford head coach Craig Brown. “We have set that as a target. We just have to make sure we are taking care of business. We came out very aggressive with the bats. I would like for us to do better in the field, but I am very proud of them.”

Clover went up 1-0 in the top of the first inning, but Nation Ford rallied to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first off of three hits. Stahl, Gardner each singled and Alissa Ilacqua doubled to continue things for the Falcons in the inning.

The Blue Eagles bounced back in the top of the second with three more runs on two hits, while Nation Ford again rallied with four runs on two hits in the bottom of the inning. Clover allowed three walks in the inning and eight in the game, while Arnold would triple in two runs and Gardner would drive in another run in the inning as well.

Arnold, who pitched a complete game five hitter, settled down in the third through fifth innings allowing just one hit for the rest of the game. She walked five and struck out three in the game, while allowing just two earned runs.

Leading 6-4 entering the bottom of the fourth, Nation Ford put the game out of reach scoring nine runs on five hits and was aided by four Clover walks, a hit batter and a Blue Eagles error. Nation Ford batted around as Sarvis would hit a double scoring two runs in the inning. Sabrina Johnson would also drive in a run on a single, as would Stahl. Arnold would the get her second hit of the game and Gardner would the drive in two more Falcons with a double.

Nation Ford now focuses its attention on finishing strong in the region with a road game against Rock Hill April 10 after spring break. Over spring break, the Falcons will head to Summerville to play in the Azalea Invitational. The next home game for Nation Ford will be against Northwestern April 13.

Mac Banks: mbanks@comporium.net, @MacBanksFM

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