Augusta had Maize South down to its final out with a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning of Monday’s doubleheader opener.
But Maize South (8-0) showed one reason why it’s still undefeated and ranked No. 2 in Class 4A this season. The Mavericks scored six runs on a two-out rally to steal Game 1 from Augusta 8-3.
The Orioles simply were dejected after that loss as the Mavericks won Game 2 8-0.
“The worst part was the letdown when we lost the first game and not really coming prepared for the second game “ coach Ray Aguirre said. “We had no energy, and it wasn’t fair to our pitchers. They went out and did a good job. They did was they’re supposed to. If we’re not going to make plays behind them, throw the ball away, it’s not going to help.”
Aguirre had a heart-to-heart talk with his team after the games, emphasizing that the Orioles are good when they’re ahead, but they get down on themselves too much after a mistake or when they fall behind.
The first six innings of the opener couldn’t have been played better by either side. Sidney Dey didn’t let Maize South hit a ball out of the infield the first three innings.
Courtney Phillips led off the Augusta third with a walk.?Three batters later, Christina Downs blasted a hit to deep left. After Maize South mishandled a throw to home while trying to tag out Phillips, Downs sprinted all the way home for an inside-the-park homer. Augusta led 2-0.
Destiny Williams lined a stand-up double to start the Orioles’ fifth. Downs came through again, this time with an RBI double to center field to give Augusta a 3-0 lead.
Through six innings, Dey gave up five hits, two runs and a walk while striking out two.
But in the seventh, the Mavericks buckled up and refused to go down.
“They got a lot more disciplined at the plate. They waited on pitches to hit, and when they hit them, they hit them well,” Aguirre said of the Mavericks’ seventh-inning rally.
Maize South had five straight RBI base hits, four of which went for extra bases. The Orioles couldn’t string a rally of their own in the final inning.
Mavericks pitcher Kelsey Sterneker allowed  just six hits, three of which were by Downs and two others that were bunt singles, and struck out six Orioles.
In the nightcap, Augusta struggled to muster any offense against Jody Larson. Defensively, the Orioles made errors, one at the plate, that led to two early Maize South runs. Brooke Eberhardt took the loss after giving up just four hits and a walk through four innings.
Augusta’s record drops to 4-4, though its losses are against No. 1 Andale and No. 2 Maize South.
Augusta will play its makeup game with Circle Friday at home.
n   Augusta’s junior varsity team stayed hot, sweeping the Mavericks with 9-1 and 4-0 wins at home. The Orioles got key hits throughout the lineup and played solid defense all day.