By Thomas Sellers Jr.
ARLINGTON — One thing Munford Head Coach Glenn Goulder has a plethora of this season is experienced seniors.
And facing a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning on April Fool’s Day at the Arlington Softball Field, Goulder calmly waited on one of his 12th graders to step up against the host Arlington Lady Tigers. And one of the first Lady Cougars to come through was Tara Comer.
“As a senior, I feel like it’s my job to lead the team,” Comer said. “So I did what I had to do to get on base and help my team win.”
Comer did more than get on base in the sixth inning. She had two hits and drove in two runs during the 10-run rally leading to a 13-3 Lady Cougar victory.
Comer noted how the Lady Tigers are a confident team. Arlington has earned that right as the defending District 14-3A and Region 7-3A champions. The Lady Tigers even reached the State Tournament like their counterparts Munford.
The Lady Cougars have been the queens of District 13-3A lately and have made two straight trips to Murfreesboro. But it has been the Lady Tigers atop of the Region.
The April 1 contest was a chance for Munford to see if they could replace Arlington on the top of the Region 7-3A mountain. The Lady Cougars got off to a good start in the first inning leading 3-0.
Munford’s Maddie Welch scored on an error and Lady Cougar pitcher Alex Stanford produced two runs with a ground out.
The Lady Tigers trimmed the deficit to 3-1 in the third inning on an illegal pitch. Two innings later Arlington scored twice to draw even. Olivia Perez singled in a run to make the score 3-2. Then her sister Abby slapped a base hit of her own to make the score 3-3.
The Lady Cougars came to the plate in the sixth inning preparing to break the tie. The first three batters Jodie Duncan, Alex Turner and Stanford all reached base setting up an RBI chance for Comer.
The senior first baseman stroked a single to score Duncan to make the score 4-3. Then Sam Scott came up next with a base hit to score Turner.
After Jessyca Baker was hit by a pitch scoring the third run of the inning, Christina Cantrell singled to score a run making the score 7-3 with no outs.
A bases loaded walk to Welch made the score 8-3. Munford scored 5 runs without an out.
Arlington was able to record the first out but a pass ball already made the tally 9-3. The Lady Tigers got Duncan to lineout but another RBI hit the board for the junior.
Turner kept the rally alive with a single to make the score 11-3. After Stanford walked, it was Comer again at the plate. She produced another base hit making the score 12-3.
When the dust settled in Munford’s half of the inning, the Lady Cougars were ahead 13-3. With the run-rule in effect, Munford had to record three outs in the sixgth inning to close out the game.
Stanford took back to the rubber and witnessed the first Arlington batter Christina Thomas reach base on an error.
Next to the plate for the Lady Tigers was Sammie Rodriguez. She hit a laser toward shortstop and for a moment it seemed Arlington might be on the brink of a rally.
“Alex was pitching a great game,” Duncan recalled. “We knew she was going to pitch the thing in there. It just came to me and I did what I had to do.”
Duncan snatched the softball out of the air to record Rodriguez as an out. Then she fired to first base and Comer made the tag on Thomas for the double play.
Stanford recorded the final out and the Lady Cougars improved to 11-3 on the season and picked up a confidence boosting win over Arlington.
“It’s a great quality win but we’re taking it one game at a time,” Duncan concluded. “All the glory goes to God.”