Pleasant Home claims 3rd place at state

Published 10:32 pm Monday, May 18, 2009

MONTGOMERY — No. 2 Pleasant Home ended Kinston’s season Saturday in the first game of the losers’ bracket, winning 2-1 at the Class 1A state tournament at Lagoon Park.

The Lady Eagles (34-12) then defeated Spring Garden 2-0 to advance to the losers’ bracket finals against first-ranked Speake.

Speake came out with the 9-2 win, ending Pleasant Home’s season.

Pleasant Home 2, Kinston 1 (8 innings)

In the ninth visit between the Lady Eagles and the Lady Bulldogs, it arguably could not have gone any better for Pleasant Home.

With the game tied at one run apiece, the Lady Eagles held Kinston in the eighth inning, scattering two hits and striking out one to give them another opportunity to score.

“It was a very emotional game right there,” Pleasant Home coach Jimmy Reeves said. “Anytime we play those folks, it’s such a fierce rivalry with them. That just made our year to be able to finish up like that. It would have probably ruined our year if we had lost to that team. That’s how big it was.”

Pleasant Home finished with a 6-3 record against Kinston this year.

In the last inning, Pleasant Home’s Erin Byrd came through for her team again, hitting an RBI single to score Kaitlin Brookshire. Brookshire reached on a walk.

Pleasant Home 2, Spring Garden 0 (9 innings)

It was a defensive battle between two Class 1A teams Saturday as the game remained tied scoreless all the way until the top of the ninth inning.

Erin Byrd managed to make it to third base on errors before scoring on a fielder’s choice from Kayla Woods. Woods later scored on an error in the same inning to win the game.

Megan Cook was 3-for-4.

Brentin Fuller earned the win, pitching 7.0 innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine.

Speake 9, Pleasant Home 2

Pleasant Home’s Ariel Gunter was 2-for-3 with two singles and two RBIs off winning pitcher Kylie Black Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.

“(Speake was) playing on a lot of emotion,” Reeves said. “I think it was just little bit of us just running out of gas and them just ready to do something special this year. We are walking off with our heads up. I’m proud of them — it’s been a great year.”

Speake scored three runs in the first off a two-run home run from Sarah Bolan before adding two in the second, one in the fourth and a final three runs in the sixth.

Black pitched 7.0 innings, allowing seven hits and striking out four.