ZEPHYRHILLS — Jill McElderry had not had a hit in four at-bats and was up in the top of the eighth inning with the bases loaded and two out in a 4-4 tie Tuesday at Zephyrhills.
During a timeout, Fivay coach Greg Bollinger gave his starting pitcher and cleanup hitter some advice.
“There’s a reason you’re in the No. 4 spot,” he said. “You’re a good hitter.”
McElderry promptly came through with a two-run double down the leftfield line to spark a four-run inning and lead the Falcons to an 8-4 win. That avenged an earlier 3-0 loss to Zephyrhills when McElderry struck out 16.
“Personally, I think she was a little fired up,” Bollinger said.
Fivay led 4-1 before Zephyrhills rallied for three runs in the fifth. The Bulldogs had six hits in that inning, highlighted by Briana Blanyar’s two-run double. Lindsey Hupp had the most timely hit, an infield bloop single with two out that scored Blanyar for the Bulldogs’ fourth run.
Fivay (9-3), a second-year team that won just five games last season, built a 4-1 lead by scoring in three of the first four innings. Ashlynn Johnson hit a run-scoring double in the first and an RBI single in the fourth while Sara Hogan had a two-run triple in the second.
Zephyrhills (8-4) got one run back when Hannah Cook led off the second with a single and scored on an infield error. Cook had three of the Bulldogs’ 12 hits.
The Falcons also finished with 12 hits, including three by Hogan.