Polk County freshman Anna McFadden has been steadily working her way this season into a starting varsity role.
Tuesday, the Wolverines reaped the rewards of McFadden’s efforts.
The left-hander rifled a two-out base hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive home Karli Wood with the winning run as Polk County nipped Rosman, 9-8, in a non-conference battle at Polk.
Wood’s sharp single to left, also with two outs, gave Polk County (8-5) a last opportunity to avoid extra innings; McFadden made the most of it, ripping a line drive to center. Rosman’s center fielder slipped on the wet outfield grass while chasing the hit and fell, allowing Wood to race home.
“(McFadden) has been coming on strong,” said Polk County head coach Jamie Thompson. “She’s a great fielder and she hits the ball well. As her confidence continues to grow, she’s going to be a good player for us.”
Rosman (9-11) built an early 4-0 lead and still led 4-1 entering the bottom of the fourth – only to see the Wolverines explode for seven runs.
Autumn Owen’s double off the left-field fence opened the inning, with Ashley Ponder’s ensuing RBI single making it a 4-2 game. The Wolverines then loaded the bases with two outs, with a walk and an Ashley Scruggs single evening the game at 4-4.
That brought junior Maranda Gosnell to the plate, where Gosnell launched a high fly ball that easily cleared the fence in left-center, the grand slam lifting Polk County to an 8-4 lead.
“We hit the ball well, especially in clutch situations,” Thompson said. “Maranda hit the grand slam with two outs. That was huge. We had several hits in a row with two outs, which was good to see. It was good to see the girls keep fighting the whole game.”
Rosman responded with a four-run fifth, highlighted by Christa Galloway’s two-run home run, to tie the game and set the stage for McFadden’s late heroics.
Wood finished 2-for-3 and scored three runs to lead Polk County at the plate. Gosnell was 1-for-3 with four RBI, Owen and McFadden were each 1-for-3 and Scruggs, Ponder, Hannah Emory and Morgan Stott finished 1-for-4 for the Wolverines.
Polk County continues non-conference play on Wednesday, hosting North Henderson at 4 p.m.