Lady Bulldogs pitch past Opp

Published 11:12 pm Friday, March 12, 2010

OPP — Andalusia junior pitcher Paige Caraway struck out 16 batters and gave up three hits as the Lady Bulldogs beat Opp 4-0 Thursday night. Caraway walked one and gave up no earned runs.

Caraway also had two doubles, one single and one RBI from the plate for Andalusia.

The ninth-ranked Lady Bulldogs improve to 5-0 overall, and 1-0 in Class 4A, Area 3.

From the beginning of the game, the Lady Bulldogs kept their intensity level up, which was a key component in the win.

“You can’t hide good character,” Andalusia coach Marcus Taylor said. “We have taught so much about character this year. Our intensity level was high to begin with and we made some mistakes on the base pads, and yet we kept that intensity high and we stayed up and we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves.

“I think even though we haven’t even been behind this year, I feel like that this team has a certain resiliency about themselves,” he said. “I don’t think these girls are going to shy away from a challenge. They have a way of rising to the occasion.”

In the fourth inning, the Lady Bulldogs got on board scoring one run.

Caraway reached on one of her doubles and Abbie Young stepped to the plate with no outs.

Young had a sacrifice to allow Caraway to score from second base.

“I tell them all the time to make the defense hit you out and (Thursday night) was the perfect example of that,” Taylor said about his team’s hitting.

Andalusia would add two additional runs in the fifth inning, when Young hit a two-run double to score Ellie Pollock and Kenna Edmondson.

Pollock reached on base with a walk and Edmondson was hit by a pitch.

Young hit her two-run double with two outs in the fifth inning.

The Lady Bulldogs scored their final run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single from Caraway to score A.C. Riley, who reached with a double and stole third base on a passed ball.

Three Andalusia players, including Caraway, got multiple hits Thursday night.

Riley was 2-for-4 with one single and one double; and Young was 1-for-4 with one double and three RBIs.

In addition, Sam Greene was 1-for-3 with one single; Megan Pugh was 1-for-3 with one single; and Edmondson was 1-for-4 with one single.

For Opp, Courtney Mobley pitched, and she managed to strikeout seven batters.

The leading hitters for the Lady Bobcats were Mobley and Octavia Thompson.

Thompson was 2-for-3 with two singles, and Mobley was 1-for-3 with one triple.

“I thought both teams did great,” Opp coach Amy Harrison said. “It was an intense game the entire time, and the girls felt it. (Andalusia) got some hits when they needed to.

“We’ll get better as a team — it’s going to get better for us.”

Andalusia will start its annual high school softball tournament today at the Sportsplex at 10:30 a.m. against the winner of the Enterprise-Greenville game.

Taylor said the win Thursday night came at a great time leading up to today’s tournament.

“We’re very confident right now,” he said. “I feel like every game we just grow as a team and are coming together as a team. I think if you watch us, that’s evident and that goes back to these girls’ character.”