By Chris McCarthy/Editor
The Gadsden City High softball team kept pace with Class 7A No. 7 Buckhorn over the first few innings last Tuesday (Apr. 5), but the Lady Titans (12-10-2) ultimately fell short by a 5-0 score in an Area 7 game in Gadsden.
GCHS starting pitcher Amanda Kantzler held the Lady Bucks off the scoreboard through four innings to keep the hosts within striking distance. Buckhorn had an opportunity to break through in the top of the fourth with runners on first and third with two outs before Kantzler induced a flyout to end the threat.
But the GCHS offense mostly was stuck in neutral against Buckhorn ace Zoie Emrick, who retired the first 10 batters she faced. The first GCHS baserunner was Arden Green, who singled and stole second base in the bottom of the fourth. She advanced no further, however, as Emrick quickly got the final two outs of the inning.
“Obviously that was a good pitcher they threw at us, and our hitters struggled,” said GCHS head coach Corbin Holland. “But I thought that we did a good job of playing defense early on, and the girls played hard. Buckhorn’s a really good team, and I felt that we mixed it up with them and gave it a good shot. A couple of plays just got us there at the end.”
The visitors from New Market broke through in the fifth when Gail Pyle singled and scored on a Megan Miller base hit.
The Lady Bucks made it 2-0 in the next inning on runs from Emrick and Sidney Edwards, and Emrick’s two-run double in the sixth put GCHS in a five-run hole.
Emrick allowed the Lady Titans few opportunities to mount a comeback. After Green’s hit, Emrick sent down the next five GCHS batters while striking out the side in the fifth.
Gadsden City had a chance on the sixth when Ella Day reached second base with two outs, but Emrick fanned the next batter to end both the inning and the Lady Titans last best scoring opportunity.
In seven innings, Emrick walked one and struck out 11. She helped her cause by going 2-for-4 with three RBI. Jayda Shafer had a pair of hits for Buckhorn.
Kantzler also went the distance, scattering five hits and five walks with two strikeouts.
“Amanda has some really good stuff, and she’s just a sophomore,” said Holland. “I thought she threw really well and gave us a chance to win. She’s a real talent who can pitch with any team in the state.”