PHS defeats SHS, 3-2

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Class 1A No. 2 Pleasant Home came from behind with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat Class 3A No. 3 Straughn 3-2 in softball Tuesday afternoon at PHS. The Lady Eagles defeated the Lady Tigers for the first time this season — Straughn had won the previous four meetings.

“All of these games have been close when we play,” Pleasant Home coach Jimmy Reeves said. “It always seems like it goes into extra innings, or there’s a run scored late that makes the difference. I’m proud of my girls for playing solid defense today; there were some plays we made out in the field that really kept us in this game.”

Pleasant Home (17-7) had not played since Sat., April 11, in the finals of the PHS Invitational Softball Tournament. Oddly enough, the Lady Eagles faced Straughn in that game as well, a 3-2 victory for the Lady Tigers.

“We were a little rusty in our hitting from not playing so long,” Reeves said. “But we were able to do some good things with our bunting and moving runners over, and that’s what we worked on in practice this week.”

Straughn (23-7) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Kaitlynn Wiggins led off with a single and stole second, then scored on an RBI double by Kayla Messer. Messer scored one batter later when Katy Messick laced a double to center field.

Pleasant Home got out of the jam by turning a double play that ended with Messick tagged out at the plate after she tried to score on Tiffany Taylor’s groundout.

The Lady Eagles cut Straughn’s lead in half in the bottom of the fifth inning. Megan Cook bunted for a single with one out and eventually scored on an error.

“We made a few mistakes today,” Straughn coach Ray Wilson said. “Pleasant Home did a good job of putting bunts down and forcing us to make plays defensively.”

Pleasant Home took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kayla Woods led off with a single to left and Kati Reeves bunted for a single. Woods moved to third base on Brittany Ward’s groundout, and scored on a wild pitch that also moved Reeves to third.

Gina Davis had the game-winning RBI when her groundout to the pitcher allowed Reeves to score.

Davis also picked up the win on the mound for Pleasant Home, pitching 7.0 innings and allowing six hits while striking out five. Wiggins took the loss for Straughn, working 6.0 innings and allowing four hits while striking out six.

Reeves said the teams could meet one more time this season, as both will participate in the Elba Tournament this weekend. Area tournaments begin across the state on May 2.

“You always want to play great teams this close to the playoffs,” Reeves said. “I told my girls before this game that, win or lose, we were going to get better by playing today. And I hope that we also helped make (Straughn) better.”