Lady Eagles split close games

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 16, 2003

Pleasant Home Head Softball Coach Jimmy Reeves has not had a heart procedure like the Los Angeles Lakers head coach, but Reeves' ticker may need help in the near future if the Lady Eagles continue to play close games.

The Lady Eagles went 1-1 Friday at the Class 1A State Softball Tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

The Lady Eagles are still in the hunt for a state title, but must battle back and win it out of the loser's bracket. They return to the diamond at Lagoon Park at 9 a.m. today.

Pleasant Home began the first day of the Class 1A Tournament with a win. The Lady Eagles held off Westminster Christian for a 3-1 victory in the 9 a.m. game on Friday.

The Westminster Christian Lady Wildcats went on top 1-0 in the top of the first inning when Valerie Click scored after reaching base on a double. She went to third when Christa Reeves tried to score on the hit and was tagged out by Pleasant Home catcher Brittney Blount.

Faith Gunter tracked down the double and fired it to Britni Ballard who relayed it to Blount for the out. Click scored later in the inning on a passed ball.

Pleasant Home answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning for a 2-1 lead.

Blount started the rally when she reached base on an error that allowed her to advance to second. Ballard followed her and also reached on an error.

Kayla Wiggins came up to bat for Pleasant Home with runners on first and third and ripped an RBI-single to score Blount. Ballard scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Lady Eagles tacked on an insurance run.

Beth Cox started the inning with a bunt single and moved to second on a wild pitch. She scored on an RBI-triple by Ballard that found the fence in left field.

The Lady Wildcats threatened in the seventh inning with the Lady Eagles clinging to a 3-1 edge.

Pleasant Home pitcher Kim Jacobs slammed the door on Westminster Christian finishing a complete game with a strikeout for the final out leaving Lady Wildcats stranded on first and second.

Jacobs pitched all seven innings allowing one run on seven hits and two walks. She struck out seven.

Reeves said the game was close.

"We played real solid defense and had good pitching," Reeves said. "They (Westmintser Christian) made some errors early. Ballard had a timely hit in the game. We had people on base every inning and we finally got a big hit."

Kim Jacobs' pitching performance was another big factor in the win, Reeves said.

"I was thinking seriously about bringing Katy (Wiggins) in, but Kim was in such a groove," he said.

"We had wet conditions and Kim had already adjusted to the wet ball and the playing conditions so I went with her," Reeves said. "Plus, she was in a groove."

The Pleasant Home head coach also said the insurance run in the fifth may have kept him out of the hospital.

"I don't know how nervous I would have been if we would have only been up by one run," Reeves said.

The win gave the Lady Eagles plenty of time to prepare for a 4 p.m. game against the Ragland Purple Devils.

The long wait for the second game finally ended and the Lady Eagles scored one run in the bottom of the first inning for an early 1-0 lead.

Ballard reached on a single, moved to second on a single by Kayla Wiggins, went to third on a bunt by Carly Lundy and scored on a throwing error.

The score remained 1-0 until the Ragland squad scored two runs in the top of the third inning when Courtney Deason and Emily Haynes (as a courtesy runner for pitcher Emily White) scored.

The Lady Eagles went right back on top in the bottom of the third inning when Blount and Ballard scored.

Blount reached on a walk and scored on an RBI-single by Ballard after stealing second.

Ballard scored on a sacrifice bunt by Kayla Wiggins. Ballard was on second base when Kayla squared around to bunt and raced all the way home to score as the Lady Devils got a force out at first base.

The Lady Eagles remained on top 3-2 until the top of the seventh when Ragland managed to score two runs to take a 4-3 lead.

Laura Bagwell and Kaylee St. John scored for the Lady Devils in the inning.

Pleasant Home failed to score in the bottom of the seventh falling by a final score of 4-3 in another close game.

The Lady Eagles return to action at 9 a.m. today with a contest in the loser's bracket. Pleasant Home must win five consecutive games, including two against the team out of the winner's bracket that advances to the title game, to earn the 2003 Class 1A State Championship.