Straughn girls win PHS tourney

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Straughn’s girls varsity softball team won four straight ball games, and beat Opp twice in the championship series to win Pleasant Home’s annual tournament Saturday.

The Lady Tigers walked away with a 12-2 title game win over the Lady Bobcats, after forcing the “if necessary” game with a 12-5 victory in the first game of the finals.

SHS head softball coach Ray Wilson said he was proud of the team for battling the rest of the day Saturday.

“I was proud of the way they responded after losing the first game,” Wilson said. “I told them, ‘it was not what you did this first game, it’s how you respond to it the rest of the day today.’

“They responded well to it, bounced back and played hard,” he said. “The last couple games we hit the ball well. Opp really hit the ball well, too. I knew in order for to beat them, I knew we were going to have to hit the ball well.”

Straughn got off to a rough start with a 2-0 loss to the Lady Bobcats, but bounced back to beat Andalusia 12-0 and Pleasant Home 4-2 in the losers bracket championship game to advance to the tournament finals.

Pleasant Home started its day with a 7-1 win over Florala, and fell to Opp 3-1 in the semifinals. Florala lost to Andalusia 11-0 to get knocked out of the tournament.

Opp beat Andalusia 4-0 in its first game of the day.

Straughn 12, Opp 2

Katy Messick struck out four in five innings, and Kaitlynn Wiggins was 3-for-4 with three RBIs to help lead the Lady Tigers to the tournament title.

Behind the plate, Messick was 2-for-4 with one RBI; Paige Caraway was 2-for-3 with two RBIs; Kelli Wilcox was 3-for-3 with two runs; and Megan Johns was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Straughn 12, Opp 5

(first championship game)

The Lady Tigers (26-7) racked up 18 hits against the Lady Bobcats to force the if necessary game.

Caraway gave up seven hits and struck out six to get the win on the mound.

Wiggins was 5-for-5 to lead Straughn and had one RBI; Laken Harris was 2-for-4 with one RBI; Messick was 3-for-5 with three RBIs; Caraway was 2-for-4 with three RBIs; and Tori Bracewell had two hits.

Straughn scored two runs in the first inning, four runs in the second inning, and three runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.

Straughn 4,

Pleasant Home 2

Messick struck out three, allowed four hits and two runs in five innings.

Trailing 2-0, Caraway hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to tie the game with the Lady Eagles.

Tiffany Taylor was 2-for-3 with a double, and scored on a hit by Payton Mitchell, who was also 2-for-3.

Johns hit an RBI single to score Mitchell to seal the win for the Lady Tigers.

Caraway also got the save for Straughn, pitching the last inning.

Straughn 12, Andalusia 0

Caraway struck out five and gave up two hits to help lead the Lady Tigers to the win over the Lady Bulldogs.

Harris had two hits; Messick and Caraway had three hits and three RBIs each behind the plate to lead Straughn.

AHS head softball coach Marcus Taylor said there were too many left on base during the tournament, which turned out to be the difference in each game.

“I thought leaving bases loaded in the first inning against Opp set the tone for the rest of the day,” Taylor said. “Other than the Floala game, we were unable to push runs across.

“When we got to Straughn, we had some girls get some good line drive hits,” he said. “It seemed every time we hit it, we hit it to everybody.”

Opp 4, Andalusia 0

Opp head softball coach Jimmy Reeves said throughout Saturday’s tournament that he was pleased with his team’s play on defense.

The Lady Bobcats only gave up one run in three games during the tournament.

“We were very pleased that we played the first three games with good defense,” Reeves said. “We’ve been stressing good defense because we’ve been horrible on defense lately.

“Of course, we didn’t finish as well as we liked to,” he said. “We were pleased to get back on track. (The tournament) gave the girls confidence knowing they could hold them to one run.”