ANDERSON — In sports, timing can be everything.
For the Anderson Lady Tribe, the timing was perfect for an upset Monday night as they squared off with 2014 Madison County softball champion Pendleton Heights. Anderson took advantage of five Pendleton errors and pounded out seven hits to take a 12-5 win over the sixth-ranked Arabians.
“This is the team that we should have had last year. This is the team that we haven’t had this year. This is the team we now know we can be,” said Anderson coach Doug Holder. “We hit the ball. We pitched well. Everybody had a role, everybody took part and that’s what we need to be successful.”
Pendleton scored two runs early, one in the second inning and one in the third off of Anderson starter Haley Helton.
Morgan Hubble had the first hit in the second and later scored on a wild pitch. Breanna Pryor drew a lead-off walk in the third inning and scored on a double by Delilah Wright.
Anderson got on the board in the bottom of the third when No. 8 hitter Kaira Jackson slapped a single to right and Kaylie Qualls bunted for a hit. It was the first of three hits for Jackson, and Qualls later drew a walk to force in a run. DonJanae Chamberlain reached on a fielders’ choice to load the bases for Avery Raper. An error on Pendleton led to two Anderson runs to tie the game at 2-2 before Helton helped her own cause with an RBI-sacrifice fly to give her team the lead it would not relinquish.
Helton sent the Arabians down in order in the fourth and got out of the fifth unscathed despite a walk by Heather Windling and a single by Wright.
The Lady Tribe scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 11-2 lead, nearly winning the game on the 10-run mercy rule, but Helton grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning. Anderson sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring eight runs on five hits, three walks and two Arabians errors. Eight of the first nine runners scored as Anderson took control.