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Bulldogs come through in the clutch
ARLINGTON Making it look easy, the Bulldogs shook off a slow start to cruise to an easy victory in recreation league softball Wednesday Aug. 29. Their opponents, Wrecking Crew, held their own in the game for five innings, before letting it slip away in the bottom half of the sixth.
Playing a pivotal role for the Bulldogs was late season addition Abby Westphal. Westphal finished the night 5-5 from the plate including two doubles and two runs scored. Westphal wasnt alone in her plate heroics. Scott Benham managed to uncork two huge home runs in the late innings to seal the deal for the Bulldogs. Benham finished 5-5 on the night with 5 RBI from the two jacks.
The game started slowly for both sides as runs were in short supply. Trailing 2-0 in the second inning, Westphal doubled to score Joel Gregory and put the Bulldogs on the board.
The Dogs tacked on another run in the third inning to tie things at 2-2 and nobody scored for either team in the fourth. It was a pitchers duel, if thats possible on the softball field.
In the fifth inning the Wrecking Crew got a two-run home run off the bat of Ben Wilcox. Wilcox drilled a ball deep into the left-center gap and sped around the bases to score standing up. The blast gave the Wrecking Crew a temporary 4-2 edge.
Then in the bottom half of the inning the Bulldogs broke open the game behind some timely hitting from the top of the lineup.
Leonard Turner slapped a single past the Wrecking Crew shortstop to get things started. Krista Peterson blooped a single into shallow centerfield moving Turner over. Another single followed to score Turner, then Darren Tucker bashed a double to the left field corner to score two more. Lynette Carver singled home Tucker and suddenly the Bulldogs led 6-4. Westphal came up and hammered out another hit to put runners on the corners with two outs. That brought up Benham who crushed a pitch deep to centerfield and jogged around the bases with a three-run homer. Benhams fireworks gave the Bulldogs a 9-4 lead heading into the late stages of the game.
The Wrecking Crew didnt go down quietly as they battled back to tally two more runs in the sixth. Shawna Noble and Brian Hardison each scored to cut the deficit to 9-6. Unfortunately for the Wrecking Crew, they would get no closer as the Bulldogs poured it on in the bottom of the sixth.
Sevens runs crossed the plate, the last coming from Benhams second home run of the game, a two-run shot. The evening twighlight made it increasingly difficult to see the ball and the umpire ruled the game over at 16-6.
Afterward Benham credited Westphal for the victory.
Abby was the difference in the game, he said. I was glad she got that hit at the end so I got another turn to bat.
Westphal in return believed Benham gave her the necessary inspiration for the clutch performance.
Scott said he wanted one more at-bat, said Westphal. So I did my best to make that happen.
The two stars then posed for pictures as their teammates and fans looked on.