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Lady Eagles win tourney

Eighth-ranked Pleasant Home (Class 1A) overcame adversity Saturday at its invitational softball tournament and battled to defeat seventh-ranked Straughn (Class 3A) in the championship game, 3-2.

“That’s a big time win,” Pleasant Home coach Jimmy Reeves said. “I’m just super proud. We’ve had adversity all year, and we’ve been just talking about just keeping on working and keeping on working and they have.

“They’ve got down on themselves and they kept on working, and then something good finally happened,” he said. “The balls started to bounce our way a little bit. We made some dang good plays out there (Saturday).”

In the lead up to the championship game, time was on the side of the Lady Eagles as they beat top-ranked Kinston 2-1 in five innings, scoring two runs in the second inning.

Straughn started its day knocking Flomaton out of the tourament, winning 11-0.

In earlier action, the Lady Eagles beat Opp, 4-0.

Reeves said it was a good day because so many people helped.

“I just want to thank everybody,” he said. “We just had a great day. Everybody was so good. Our folks were out here working and put on a great tournament. We had a beautiful day and it was a great day of softball.”

Pleasant Home 3, Straughn 2

Pleasant Home scored two runs in the fourth inning and one in the sixth to claim the invitational championship from the defending champions.

“We knew it was going to be a seven-inning game,” Reeves said. “We didn’t even get anybody on. We made (Wiggins) throw real hard and then we came in and hit her real hard.”

At the start of the game, Straughn got on board with a run in the first inning on an RBI single from Katy Messick to score Kaitlynn Wiggins.

Lady Eagles’ pitcher Jordan McGee kept Straughn contained behind the plate allowing one hit and no runs in two innings to earn the win.

In the fourth inning, the Lady Eagles scored the two runs on an RBI double from Emily Byrd to score Kayla Woods, who reached with a triple.

Byrd came home to help her team take a 2-1 lead on an error.

Pleasant Home (17-12) scored an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a sacrifice ground out from Woods to score Abigail Kelley.

Byrd earned the save for Pleasant Home, striking out two batters, walking three and allowing one hit.

The insurance run in the sixth for the Lady Eagles sealed the victory as Straughn added one run in the top of the seventh inning on an RBI single from Tiffany Taylor to score Stephanie Bracewell.

Woods was 1-for-3 with one run and one RBI; Byrd was 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI; and Kelley was 0-for-2 with one run.

Bracewell was 1-for-4 with one run; Wiggins was 1-for-4 with one run; Taylor was 1-for-4 with one RBI; and Messick was 1-for-4 with one RBI.

Pleasant Home 2,

Kinston 1

McGee earned the win for the Lady Eagles on the mound again against top-ranked Kinston only allowing one hit in 2.2 innings.

The Lady Eagles stepped up on defense against Kinston as two key outs came in the last inning of the game.

Kinston’s Madison Weeks and Amanda Crohn both lead off with a single each to put runners at first and second base.

On a passed ball, Weeks ran toward third base as Pleasant Home’s Ashley Copeland threw the ball to Woods, who then tagged Weeks out on the way back to second to get the first of the key outs.

With Crohn on second base, Erin Shaw hit the ball to center field, where junior Megan Cook connected with Copeland to make the tag at home plate and get the win.

Reeves said it was the experience in the outfield that helped in the win.

“My only two seniors are in the outfield (Woods and Davis) and they’re great outfielders,” he said. “My center fielder (Cook) is a junior who is phenomenal. I feel like we have the best outfield in the state. My infield is all freshmen. I’ve got one junior. If we can just grow up together and these freshmen can blend in with the rest of them, then we might can make a run at it after all.”

Pleasant Home scored its two runs in the second inning on a two-run double from Gina Davis to score Robyn Weaver and Copeland. Copeland stopped at third base, but made it home on an error.

Kinston scored its only run in the second inning on a passed ball.

Byrd got the save allowing two hits and striking out one.

Weaver was 0-for-2 with one run; Copeland was 1-for-2 with one run; and Davis was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.

Straughn 11, Flomaton 0

The Lady Tigers (22-10-1) had a monster of a second inning scoring seven runs on nine hits and no walks.

Megan Johns and Hannah Twitty started the inning with a single each to put runners at first and third.

Junior left fielder Katie Beck hit Johns in on a single and the runs just kept coming in after that.

Twitty later scored on a passed ball and then Beck came in on an RBI single from Bracewell.

Bracewell scored on a triple from Wiggins, and Wiggins scored on a single from Taylor.

To end the scoring drive in the second, Johns came back to the plate and hit a two-run double to score Taylor and courtesy runner Laken Harris.

Messick earned the win on the mound, allowing three hits on seven innings and had seven strikeouts.

Straughn scored its first run in the first inning on a sac fly from Taylor to score Bracewell.

The Lady Tigers added three to seal the deal in the fifth inning when Beck doubled Johns in, and Wiggins doubled in Bethany Whatley and Bracewell.

Bracewell was 1-for-4 with three runs and one RBI; Wiggins was 2-for-4 with one run and three RBIs; Taylor was 1-for-4 with one run and two RBIs; Messick was 2-for-3 with one run; Johns was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs; Twitty was 1-for-2 with one run; and Beck was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.

Today, Straughn will travel to play Kinston at 4 p.m. and Opp hosts Luverne at 4:30 p.m.