Pleasant Home’s Caitlin Jernigan (right) gets a “five” from Lady Eagles coach Bradley Stephens during the Kirsten L. Dean Memorial Softball Tournament championship game Saturday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

PHS girls win KLD tourney

Published 12:02am Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Straughn wins 1st game of season; finishes 2nd

Pleasant Home beat Straughn 10-2, 3-1 to claim the eighth annual Kirsten L. Dean Memorial Softball Tournament title Saturday night.

The Lady Eagles overcame a 3-0 deficit to Opp in the loser’s bracket championship to win 4-3 and a right to play in the tournament championship, where they had to beat Straughn two times to win the title.

“The girls came together after they (Straughn) beat them (PHS 6-4) and were determined,” PHS coach Bradley Stephens said. “We set our goals. One of them was to win a regular season tournament, it didn’t matter which one it was.

“We felt like we could come in and do that,” he said. “We fell to the loser’s bracket and the girls were determined to fight back. With that first loss to Straughn, it was a tough one.”

Opp coach Jimmy Reeves said the 4-3 loss to PHS was a “heart breaker.”

“We just had a couple bounces go the wrong way for us,” Reeves said. “Sometimes, you’ve got to make your own luck. We’re not doing that right now.

“They know how to play,” he said. “We played a lot better game than that first game (loss). I was proud of them for that.”

Earlier Saturday, PHS fell 6-4 in a tiebreaker to the host team in the winner’s bracket semifinals to send it down to the loser’s bracket championship.

Straughn, who hadn’t won a game at all this season, beat rival Andalusia 7-4 in its first game of the day and then went on to beat Kinston 9-2 to hand KHS its first loss.

“I’m really, really proud of our girls,” SHS coach Trent Taylor said. “(SHS assistant) Coach (Candace) Tucker and I have been telling them all year that you’ve got a good team.

“I hope, from this, they realize now the ability they have now,” he said. “We know we can swing it, and now we know we can play defense.”

The Lady Bobcats beat Red Level 10-0 in their opening game, and then went on to fall to Pleasant Home 5-0 in the winner’s semifinals. In the loser’s bracket, Opp beat Kinston 8-0 to knock the Lady Bulldogs out of the tournament, which gave the Lady Bobcats another opportunity to play Pleasant Home.

Andalusia, in the loser’s bracket, beat RLS 15-0 and then fell 10-2 to OHS in the loser’s bracket semis.

Pleasant Home 10, Straughn 2

(championship game 2)

Pleasant Home’s Raven Woods hit a sac fly to score Ashley Copeland to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third inning and the Lady Eagles added two runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth inning to get the win.

Caitlin Jernigan hit a bases-clearing triple to score Mary Schwartz, Helena Weaver and Abigail Kelley to help the Lady Eagles take the 10-2 lead.

Shortly afterward, the umpires called the game due to the time limit.

Straughn got on the board first in the second inning when Jacie Williamson hit an RBI single to score Hayden Willis.

PHS then scored two runs in the bottom of the second on an RBI double from Jordan McGhee to score Emily Byrd.

McGhee later came in to score on a stolen base.

Byrd struck out five and allowed one earned run on one hit in 5.0 innings of work.

Weaver, Byrd and Jernigan had two hits each to lead Pleasant Home.

Pleasant Home 3, Straughn 1

(championship game 1)

Byrd hit a solo home run in the top of the third inning to help the Lady Eagles take a 3-0 advantage over the Lady Tigers in the first championship game.

Straughn added one run in the fifth on an RBI double from Kristen Peavey.

Jernigan scored on a passed ball to help PHS take a 1-0 lead in the first inning and the Lady Eagles led 2-0 after an Anna Bulger RBI single to score Weaver in the second.

Jernigan had two hits, and Byrd, Weaver and Kelley had one hit each to lead PHS.

Byrd struck out seven and allowed one run, three hits and one walk for the win.

 

Andalusia 15, Red Level 0; Straughn 7, Andalusia 3

Maggie Lambert struck out eight in Andalusia’s win over Red Level in the first round of the loser’s bracket.

Sam Greene, Emily Terry and Jessica Park had two hits each to lead AHS.

In the Straughn game, Lambert had one hit and Abbie Young struck out two and allowed 12 walks.

Opp 10, Andalusia 2

Opp’s Beth Anne Spurlin and Erica Ladson had three hits each to lead the Lady Bobcats. Additionally, Tori Reisnour and Cayla Hughes had two hits each in the win.

“They hit really well,” AHS coach Teresa Herring said. “It wasn’t anything defensively we were doing wrong. They were just hitting good solid balls.

“With us, we had some good hits, but we’re not stringing them together,” she sad. “It was probably because of two weeks of not playing games.”

Opp scored four runs in the second inning and added three runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth in the win.

Andalusia will face Ashford today in area action at 4 p.m., and will visit Straughn tomorrow for a make up game from earlier this season. The varsity squad will start at 3 p.m. and the junior varsity squad will follow.

Opp 8, Kinston 0

Courtney Chatom struck out five and allowed five hits to lead the Lady Bobcats on the mound.

Chatom and Ladson had two hits each; and Savannah Gerber scored three runs in the shutout.

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