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Rain saturates area tourney

KINSTON — Heavy rains caused the Class 1A, Area 3 softball tournament championship game between eighth-ranked Pleasant Home and first-ranked Kinston to be postponed Friday evening.

At approximately 5:25 p.m., game umpires called the game in the top of the sixth inning because the field was too saturated with water, and puddles began forming.

The game will pick back up with the Lady Bulldogs at bat, and the game tied 1-1 at 10 a.m. today.

In Pleasant Home’s first game of the day, the Lady Eagles ended McKenzie’s season with a 15-0 rout in four innings, and earned a trip to the Class 1A regional tournament next weekend in Gulf Shores.

Kinston 1,

Pleasant Home 1

(game delayed due to rain, will resume today)

Before the game was called due to the rain, Pleasant Home had momentum leading into the final two innings.

Starting pitcher Emily Byrd scattered four hits, allowed one run and struck out two before the delay.

“I thought in the Kinston game we had some really good pitching,” Pleasant Home coach Jimmy Reeves said. “Emily Byrd did a good job and our catcher (Ashley Copeland) did a good job. If your pitcher and catcher does a good job, then you’ve got a chance.”

Later in the game, Pleasant Home came up with a double play in the infield.

“We’ve been moving our kids around the infield trying to shore up our defense all year, and I think finally maybe we got a good combination,” Reeves said. “I don’t know we’ll see.”

Kinston’s Whitney Hercus popped out to Pleasant Home short stop Cailee Jernigan, who then threw Macie Sanders out at first. Sanders reached on a single to center.

“She’s been a great surprise for us this year and gets better every game,” Reeves said about Jernigan. “Anywhere you put her, she just does a great job for us.”

However, Kinston’s Sarah Mock was on the prowl at the mound striking out 12 batters and allowing one run on one hit.

Pleasant Home drew first blood in the first inning, when Kayla Woods stole home from third. She reached on a fielder’s choice and then quickly stole second and third.

Kinston tied the game in the second inning when Tiffany Wingard scored on a passed ball.

Pleasant Home 15, McKenzie 0

The Lady Eagles scored eight runs in the bottom of the second inning in their victory over McKenzie.

In that inning, Abigail Kelley and Jernigan started out with singles.

Then, Woods and Megan Cook singled Kelley and Jernigan in to score, respectively.

Woods and Cook scored on passed balls later in the inning.

Robyn Weaver singled Emily Byrd in, and Weaver came around on a passed ball.

Courtesy runner Krissie Herman scored on a ground out by Gina Davis, and Kat Dozier scored on a single by Kelley to end the scoring.

Winning pitcher Gina Davis allowed no runs on two hits and struck out seven in four innings.

The Lady Eagles got on top in the first on an error by McKenzie.

Reeves said the bats started to come alive after McKenzie made a pitching adjustment.

“We had a hard time adjusting to the first pitcher, and then fnally got a couple good hits in and started rolling pretty good,” he said. “We ended up doing pretty good in that game. I was proud of them.”

Pleasant Home added three runs in the third on a single by Weaver and a two-run single by Kelley.

In the fourth, the Lady Eagles capped off the win with RBIs from Byrd, Copeland and Davis.

In the top of the fourth, Pleasant Home executed its first double play of the day on a pop up to center field, where Cook threw the runner out at first on a tag up.

Woods was 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI; Cook was 2-for-4 with three runs and one RBI; Byrd was 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI; Weaver was 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs; Copeland was 2-for-3 with two runs; Davis was 2-for-4 with one RBI; Dozier was 0-for-3 with one run; Kelley was 3-for-3 with one run and three RBIs; and Jernigan was 1-for-3 with one run.