WHITE HALL — It was the equivalent of your big brother holding you down until you screamed uncle.

WHITE HALL — It was the equivalent of your big brother holding you down until you screamed uncle.

Watson Chapel’s Natalie Johnson homered twice, including a grand slam, and drove in eight runs as the Lady Wildcats bounced back from a 7-6 loss to White Hall in the first game for a 12-2 mercy-rule win in the nightcap of a 5A-Southeast Conference softball doubleheader.

Watson Chapel coach Tracey Easter can now answer the question of when the last time the Lady Wildcats (22-6, 8-4 5-A Southeast) beat White Hall (18-3, 9-1).

“Can I say yesterday now?” Easter said following the blowout win. “You know, we played well enough to win both games but came up short in the first one. But I told my girls they were going to have to dig down and find whatever it was that brings that fire out of your heart and soul. It didn’t take much motivation. I could see it in their eyes that they were not giving in.”

Whatever Easter said must have struck a nerve with Johnson. The sophomore shortstop belted a towering shot over the center field wall in the first inning to put the Lady Cats up 2-0, then followed that with a solid shot over the wall in near identical fashion with the bases juiced in the second as Chapel grabbed an 8-2 advantage.

“That felt great,” Johnson said. “After the first game we got together and said these are just normal girls. We are going to hit it and we are going to hit it now. And that’s what we did.”

And they did it with force in the nightcap. After collecting only five hits in the opener off White Hall starter Abby Weaver and Sydnee Clark in relief, the Lady Cats exploded for 11 hits in the second game off Ashley Box (4-1), who suffered her first loss of the season.

It was the first career slam for Johnson.

“She is capable on any given pitch,” Easter said. “She’s a beast. Just so happy for her.”

Johnson capped her career day at the plate with a solid single in the fifth to plate Lexie Downing and Morgan Carter for the game-ending runs, solidifying the idea that the Lady Cats can play with anyone, an idea Easter has been trying to instill in her squad.

“I told them it’s a battle now and asked them who wants it worse,” Easter said. “They pulled through. They stuck together and I am so proud of them. We had a couple of errors in the first game that took the win out of their sails so it was so big for us to bounce back.”

In the first game, the two teams battled back and forth for the entire affair with White Hall scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh to win. Watson Chapel led the game on five different occasions, including 6-5 heading into the final frame. White Hall led four times with the most important being the final margin.

After Megan Moore singled home Sydney Crossett to put the Lady Cats up in the top of the seventh, freshman center fielder Karia Hall won the game for White Hall in walk-off fashion with a double off the left-center field fence to plate Haley Baugh.

“I just go to the plate, try to have fun, and get a base hit,” Hall said between games. “I honestly thought it was going to be a blooper on the infield but it was the exact opposite. It was a great feeling, especially since it was against our arch rival.”

White Hall coach Terri Smith said the first-game win was not as easy as she wanted, as the Lady Bulldogs had to continue to overcome scoring deficits.

“It was a good game but closer than I like, ever,” Smith said. “The first game the girls came back and showed a lot of heart. The second game, I don’t know, after they got those couple of big hits we just kind of lost it.”

Weaver was effective through three, allowing three runs on one hit, striking out six and walking two. But with the game close, Smith went to Clark (9-2) in the fourth.

Clark made the decision pay off, earning the win after four innings in relief, allowing four hits and striking out five.

Downing pitched well enough to win the opener but suffered the loss in the complete-game effort, allowing eight hits, walking three and fanning four. Five of White Hall’s hits were for extra bases as Weaver, Kayla Reap, Box, Lindsey Williams and Clark each doubled.

Watson Chapel centerfielder Megan Moore, who collected a pair of singles in the nightcap, also turned in two spectacular plays, one a diving catch coming in and the other an over-the-head catch at the wall.