THOMASVILLE - Korina Lookabill's word were few but her bat spoke volumes on a muggy Thursday night at Brown Middle School.
The Central Davidson star's walkoff single in the bottom of the fifth inning lifted the Davidson County Choppers to a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Concord in the first game of an American Legion softball doubleheader.
"It's pretty great," Lookabill said.
It had to feel that way for the Choppers, who - literally - absorbed Concord's best shots in falling behind 3-0 in the second inning.
But they came back. It was a tie game in the bottom of the fifth when Lauryl Odom led off with a double to left center, her second hit of the game, off reliever Lindsay Powell. Sarah Bowles was given an intentional walk and then Ledford's Sarah Hilton, one of Central Carolina Conference's top hitters in 2018, moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Katie McNeil then was given an intentional walk to load the bases.
"They walked the bases loaded to get to our hottest hitter," said Choppers coach Dale Odom. "I'm sure they didn't know that. But we knew that. I told Korina, 'if you weren't hitting, we'd pinch hit you right there.' I think she's showing a lot of confidence right now. She came through at a big time."
Lookabill, who had a hand in all four runs, ended the game when she ripped a 1-1 pitch to left center for the game-winning single. It was her second hit of the game.
McNeil hurled a six-hitter, shutting down Concord after surrendering a pair of mammoth home runs in the top of the second inning. The college freshman, who was a key player on North Davidson's 2017 4-A state championship team, struck out five. She also benefited a pair of superb plays by second baseman Abbie Hill and right fielder Kamryn Oakes.
The visitors grabbed their lead with a tremendous display of power. Ally Todaro put Concord up 2-0 with a two-run homer that carried an estimated 230 feet. Malaya Black followed with another no-doubter way over the fence in left center.
Davidson County responded in the bottom of the second against Concord starter Riley Tucker. Hilton and McNeill strung together consecutive singles to start the inning. Lookabill moved them up with a sacrifice bunt. Oakes lined out to third but the Choppers got a pair of runs on a wild pitch and an error, cutting the lead to 3-2.
It was still that score in the top of the fourth when Tucker doubled and a courtesy runner stole third with two out. Brianna Grant hammered a line drive to right center that Oakes was able to haul in after a long run, keeping it a one-run game.
The Choppers tied it in the bottom of the fourth. Lookabill doubled with one out and courtesy runner Riley Lingerfelt advanced to third on a passed ball. Oakes walked after an eight-pitch at-bat and Kiersten Deal, a rising freshman at East Forsyth, delivered a run-scoring single to tie the game.
Concord nearly regained the lead in the top of the fifth. Black launched her second missile of the night, a triple to left center, with two out. Kyle LaRousa followed with a dribbler to the right side of the infield that Hill managed to track down and get to first just in time.
"Great team that we just played," coach Odom said. "But I think we're becoming a pretty good team ourselves."
Game 2 of the doubleheader was not complete by press time.
Mike Duprez can be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Mike on Twitter@LexDispatch_md.