Sonoraville Softball Taylor Long

Sonoraville pitcher Taylor Long fires a pitch during a game in October 2019 in this file photo.

After going on a two-game winning streak, the Sonoraville Phoenix softball team (3-4, 3-1) dropped a hard-fought heartbreaker this week on the road at Coahulla Creek 1-0 in 10 innings. However, the big positive for the Lady Phoenix was that starting pitcher Taylor Long broke her own school record for strikeouts in a single game (set last week) by throwing 21 strikeouts in this game.

Sonoraville coach Natasha Hufstetler praised her star pitcher’s performance in the game.

“She (Long) was moving the ball,” Hufstetler said. “They were chasing riseballs, curveballs, etc. Really, she just did a good job of just working ahead and hitting her spots. I mean, 21 strikeouts? She just came off a game where she set the school record with 18, and then to follow that up two games later with a new school record ... was pretty amazing. It’s amazing what she does every day consistently.”

This game was a low-scoring, pitchers’ duel that was only decided ultimately in the bottom of the tenth inning as Long, tired after a stellar pitching performance, walked a batter as the bases were loaded to break the shutout and give Coahulla Creek (8-2, 3-2) the victory in extra innings.

Despite not getting the win, Hufstetler was not that disappointed with her team’s performance, just sad they came up short.

“Overall, we didn’t play bad,” Hufstetler said. “We just didn’t do that much at the plate. Taylor (Long) had 21 strikeouts. Their pitcher (Sophia Voyles) had 19, so neither team was getting that much done at the plate. We had a couple of opportunities to score and just couldn’t make it happen. Defensively, the girls played well. Taylor (Long) pitched an awesome game. We just kind of came up short. We didn’t execute and get some bunts down when we needed to.”

Even though offensive success was hard to come by for either team, Emma Springfield, Taylor Long and Molly Speech each had a hit apiece for the Lady Phoenix. Sonoraville’s next game was Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe followed by a home game versus North Murray next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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