An even start

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 26, 2010

Straughn, Andalusia and Pleasant Home each earned a win Thursday night at the sixth annual Kirsten L. Dean softball tournament at Straughn.

Straughn’s two runs in in the first inning and four runs in the third paved the way for the Lady Tigers to defeat Andalusia 6-0 in the first game of the tournament.

In the second game, seventh-ranked Andalusia came out, played good defense from the mound and beat Pleasant Home, 1-0.

The last game of the night between fifth-ranked Straughn (9-7-1) and fifth-ranked Pleasant Home (10-5) was a showdown until the very end. With the game tied at 2-2, the Lady Eagles scored two runs after regulation time had run out to beat Straughn, 4-2.

Since all three teams earned one win a piece, the seeding in their pool for Saturday’s elimination round was based on how many runs each team gave up.

Pleasant Home earned the No. 1 seed, only allowing three runs; Straughn No. 2 when it allowed four runs; and Andalusia is the No. 3 seed after allowing six.

Straughn girls 6, Andalusia girls 0

Straughn’s Kaitlynn Wiggins struck out five batters in four innings and allowed one hit to help lead her team to the six-run win over city rival Andalusia (10-4).

Straughn got on board with two quick runs in the top of the first inning.

Lady Tigers’ senior catcher Stephanie Bracewell was injured at the start of the game and Hannah Twitty took over as a courtesy runner.

Wiggins’ hit a single to right to reach and made it to second on a stolen base.

Twitty and Wiggins later came around to score on a passed ball and wild pitch, respectively.

The Lady Tigers added four additional runs in the third inning on two hits and two walks.

Straughn’s Katy Messick got the scoring started with an RBI double to send Kayla Messer home.

Two batters later at the No. 7 spot, senior second baseman Kayla Teel hit Messick in with a double.

Junior first baseman and Teel later came in on a 2 RBI single from Kelli Wilcox to seal the deal for the Lady Tigers.

Twitty was 0-for-1 with one run; Wiggins was 1-for-3 with one single and one run; Messer was 0-for-3 with one run; Messick was 1-for-3 with one double, one run and one RBI; Taylor was 0-for-2 with one run; Tori Bracewell was 1-for-2 with one single; Teel was 1-for-2 with one double, one RBI and one run; Megan Johns was 1-for-2 with one single; and Wilcox was 1-for-2 with one single and two RBIs.

Andalusia girls 1, Pleasant Home girls 0

Andalusia junior pitcher Paige Caraway turned up the heat against Pleasant Home, allowing no hits and one walk in six innings and had 16 strikeouts to earn the one-run win.

Caraway’s coach, Marcus Taylor, agreed she had a good game.

“The most impressive thing is Paige,” he said of rallying after the first-game loss. “To pitch two games and come back and pitch a no-hitter against Pleasant Home — that’s huge. Tha’s how you rise up against adversity.”

The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Eagles remained scoreless until the fourth inning.

With two outs and the count at 2-and-0, Caraway came through for her team again hitting an RBI single to score A.C. Riley.

Riley was 1-for-2 with one single and one run; Caraway was 1-for-2 with one single and one RBI; and Ellie Pollock was 1-for-2 with one single.

Pleasant Home girls 4, Straughn girls 2

A bobbled ball almost ended the game within the 75-minute allotted time between Straughn and Pleasant Home in the last game of pool play for both teams Thursday night.

Pleasant Home coach Jimmy Reeves said his team did well Thursday night.

“We played two good games,” Reeves said. “I was so disappointed after the first game because we didn’t put the ball in play. We played a great defensive game (in game two). Emily had a great defensive night. She’s been carrying us with her stick all year and (Thursday night), she carried us with her arm.

“All of them came back in that second game and every one of them had been down and they kept their heads up and that means a lot to me,” he said.

The Lady Eagles were in the lead 2-1, but the Lady Tigers quickly took advantage of an error to get a clutch RBI double from Wilcox to score Teel and tie the game at 2-2.

Pleasant Home didn’t give up either.

When regulation time has expired and the score tied, a runner for the batting team can be put on second base.

Pleasant Home’s Ashley Copeland went to second and came around on a double from Kaitlinn Brookshire.

On a bunt from Kat Dozier, Brookshire increased her team’s lead to 4-2.

Winning pitcher Emily Byrd shut down the lady Tigers last chance at bat causing balls to scatter to right field and in the infield.

Byrd allowed two runs on seven hits and had five strikeouts in the victory.

“We didn’t hit the ball as well in that game,” Wilson said. “Emily did a good job of pitching. We made some boos-boos early and you can’t do that against good teams. That run came around and scored early and they’re going to take advantage of it.”

Pleasant Home’s Kayla Woods was 2-for-4 with one single, one double, one RBI and one run; Byrd was 1-for-4 with one double and one run; Brookshire was 1-for-3 with one double, one RBI and one run; Mary Schwartz was 1-for-3 with one double; Dozier was 1-for-3 with one single; and Caylee Jernigan was 1-for-3 with one single and one run.

Pleasant Home will play the winner of the No. 2 in Pool B and No. 3 in Pool A game at 1 p.m. Saturday. Straughn will play the No. 3 team in Pool B at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Andalusia will play the No. 2 team in Pool B at 10 a.m. on Saturday.