FAYETTEVILLE — A six-run uprising in the fourth inning lifted the Greenbrier West Cavaliers past the Fayetteville Pirates in a Class A Region 3 softball semifinal at George Frantz Field Thursday.
The big inning occurred after Greenbrier West (12-8) absorbed a four-run wallop from the Pirates in the previous frame, and it gave West enough cushion to eventually keep Fayetteville at bay for an 8-7 triumph and a berth in next week's Region 3 final.
Greenbrier West coach Brooke Crane said the key for the Cavaliers has been leadership. "Our seniors kept us up," Crane said.
She said the Cavaliers probably weren't the favorites entering the game. "That's what motivated (the players)," she said. "They (Fayetteville) weren't expecting us to be ready for them."
"We didn't swing the bats," said Fayetteville coach Mike Bone. "You can't play any team, no matter who it is, and not put the ball in play.
"We weren't patient."
Also, he lamented that his team left runners on base, had base-running lapses and logged too many errors.
Trailing 4-1 after Fayetteville plated four runs on RBIs from Faith Norris, Carrie Taylor and Kaitlyn Sisler in the bottom of the third, the Cavaliers responded with six big runs in the top of the fourth. West got a two-run single from Rachel Adkins to key the surge.
Greenbrier West later held an 8-6 lead when Brittany Bevins scored on a Fayetteville throwing error in the sixth.
Fayetteville scratched across a run on an RBI single from Alexa Roles in the seventh to trim the deficit to one, 8-7, but West avoided further damage when Bevins snared a line drive off the bat of Norris for the final out, leading to an exuberant Cavalier celebration along the first-base line.
"This means everything to us," said Bevins, a freshman who made several nice plays in the field during the evening. "It's pretty awesome going to regional (finals) in my freshman year.
"These girls mean everything to me."
Greenbrier West (12-8) will face Man at Man in the Region 3 championship on Thursday, May 21.
Fayetteville finishes its season 12-22.
"You've got to come to play every day, and I don't think we did that," said Bone. "I hate it for our seniors. They played hard and gave everything they had.
"Do I feel like the best team won today? No. We just didn't have the key plays."
GW: 001 601 0 — 8 6 5
F: 004 200 1 — 7 11 8
GW: Makayla Adkins and Maddy Bridges; F: Kaitlyn Sisler and Alexa Roles. WP: Adkins, LP: Sisler. Hitting: GW: Makayla Adkins 1-4, Brittany Bevins 2-4, Rachel Adkins 1-4 (2 rbi), Taylor Manspile 1-1, Meredith Lauderdale (rbi), Lauren Montgomery (rbi); F: Alexa Roles 2-4 (rbi), Madison Prichard 2-4, Faith Norris (2 rbi), Sisler (rbi).