One thing Polk County head softball coach Phillip Miller likes about his squad this season is its determination and never-say-we’re-done attitude.
That approach certainly got tested Friday as Hendersonville opened an early eight-run lead over the Wolverines.
But Polk remained undeterred, fighting back from that deficit and taking a 12-10 victory over the Bearcats in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference matchup at Polk.
The Wolverines (5-5, 2-2) saw a large lead slip away earlier in the week in a wild 18-16 win at Hendersonville. This time, the Bearcats (3-4, 0-2) were the victims of a comeback courtesy of Polk County.
“I’m super proud of the girls,” Miller said. “After they came back the other night, and we’re down eight runs today, we challenged them, and they came back. That’s been their forte all year, we just keep coming back.
“They’ve got a lot of fight in them and they keep coming back.”
The catalyst for the rally was the bottom of the third, when Polk County scored seven runs with two outs to trim Hendersonville’s lead to 10-9.
Sparking that surge was freshman Junie Mitchell, who hammered a bases-loaded double to drive in three runs. Laney Littlefield and Miya Jackson followed with run-scoring base hits, and Chloe Young delivered a two-run single to cap the rally and make it a 10-9 game.
The score stayed that way until the fifth, when Mitchell belted a leadoff double, Littlefield walked, Jackson singled and Mia Bradley walked to put together a three-run rally that would give Polk the lead.
The Wolverines struggled early in the field, a series of errors helping Hendersonville stake its early advantage and knock out Polk starter Kynley Lawter. Sarah Vitale came on in relief and, with some defensive help, kept the Bearcats in check to set the stage for the Polk comeback.
Mitchell finished 3-for-4 with two doubles to lead Polk’s offense. Jackson was 2-for-4, with Littlefield, Young, Vitale and Katelyn Arrowood each adding hits.
“Very proud of Junie,” Miller said. “She had two doubles, 3-for-4, heck of a day for her. Sarah came in and did what she had to do to shut them down. Hats off to her.
“It’s always good to get a conference win. We just can’t win any low-scoring games. We’ve got to get into a shootout to win games, it seems.”
Polk County is back at home on Tuesday, hosting Patton in a 4:30 p.m. game.