Opp's Sara Ballard slides into second base earlier tonight on a steal. | Andrew Garner/Star-News
Opp's Sara Ballard slides into second base earlier tonight on a steal. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Lady Bobcats win Andy softball tourney

Published 10:27pm Saturday, March 8, 2014

Opp’s Lady Bobcats put together a stellar defensive performance tonight and went on to beat Brantley 2-1 to win the Andalusia Fastpitch Tournament at the Dwight Mikel Sportsplex.

Behind a strong pitching performance by Anna Harrelson, OHS stepped it up on its infield defense by making key catches and hard-to-reach stops.

The defense is what helped the Lady Bobcats win the game, OHS coach Jimmy Reeves said.

“Our sticks aren’t nowhere near right — not tournament ready, rather,” Reeves said. “We played great defense. That’s what we try to do — what we try to win by. A good softball team is going to have to win with defense.”

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when Courtney Chatham hit an RBI double down the third base line to score Sara Ballard, who stole second to put herself in scoring position.

OHS senior Laiken Free then hit an RBI single to score Chatham and was smart on the bases as she advanced to third on an overthrow.

One of the big defensive plays came in the top of the fifth inning for OHS.

Chatham dived to her right to make the diving stop and threw the runner out going to third to end the inning, where the Lady Bobcats saw to on with one out. Free made the other good defensive play by catching a liner in the sixth.

Harrelson allowed one run on two hits and struck out two in seven innings of work to get the win.

Chatham went 2-for-3 with a double; and Free went 2-for-3 to lead Opp.

Brantley scored its only run in the top of the seventh inning to make things a little dicey for OHS.

Peyton Hill scored on an error in right field off of a hit by Kassidy Wilcox.

Opp got to the tournament championship by beating Prattville Christian 13-0 in the semifinals.

The Lady Bobcats will be back in action on Tuesday at home against Excel in area action.

Brantley 1, Straughn 0

As time ran out, Brantley’s Sydnee Bryan got an RBI walk with the bases loaded to help lead the Lady Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory over Straughn in the tournament semifinals.

Both teams played great on defense throughout the entire contest.

The Lady Tigers had a chance to get some runs on the board in the fourth inning, but couldn’t get them across due to base running and not hitting.

SHS coach Kenny Skipper said despite the loss, he was real pleased with how the girls played today.

“We played real well today in the field and we threw strikes,” Skipper said. “Unlike last night, we struggled a little bit in that second game agianst G.W. Long. We just could not find the plate.

“Today, we for example; (Derriunna Gantt) threw in the Long game last night, and she threw 80 pitches in three innings. Today she threw five innigs at 80 pitches. That’s right at it.”

Skipper said there’s still a lot of stuff that needs work on, but the Lady Tigers will be “rocking and a rolling in no time.”

Straughn will be back in action to start a busy week on Monday for an area doubleheader at Southside Selma. Then on Tuesday, SHS hosts Kinston. On Thursday, SHS travels to Excel for an area game, and will end the week in a tournament in Prattville.

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