Lady Eagles beach bound

Published 12:02 am Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pleasant Home’s Ashley Copeland (12) runs down Brantley’s Eisha Person (2) during the first inning of the second game. Copeland advanced on Person after a throw in by Pleasant Home’s Abigail Kelley from right field for the out. The Lady Eagles will advance to the Class 1A South Regional Tournament in Gulf Shores next week with the area title win. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Once again, Pleasant Home will be going to the beach.

The Lady Eagles beat Brantley in the finals of the Class 1A, Area 3 tournament Wednesday at PHS, and earned their 11th straight trip to the South Regional Tournament in Gulf Shores in the process.

During the day, the Lady Eagles overcame some early “jitters,” and started to play ball, PHS head softball coach Bradley Stephens said.

“We’re starting to play ball,” Stephens said. “The Elba tournament was the beginning where we’ve had everybody (on the team) there all season long. We hadn’t missed anybody, and that’s what we missed today.

“I think in the second game, we did what we had to do to win,” he said.

Pleasant Home won the championship game 13-4 in seven innings, and dispatched a 13-3 first game win over Brantley earlier the same day.

With these victories, Pleasant Home improves to 19-14 overall, and will play Class 1A, Area 2 runner up Florala in the first game of the regional tournament next Friday at the Sportsplex in Gulf Shores.

Pleasant Home 13, Brantley 4

Leading 4-2 in the top of the fifth inning, the Lady Eagles scored eight runs and added one run in the seventh to seal the win.

Pleasant Home started the fifth with a single and a double by Abigail Kelley and Ashley Copeland, respectively.

Kelley then scored on a ground out by Robyn Weaver at third base, and courtesy runner Raven Woods came around on an error at home.

The third run came when Emily Byrd reached on a walk, and later scored on a single by Kat Dozier.

Dozier scored on an error, and Jordan McGee scored on the same error for the fourth and fifth runs of the inning.

In the nine-hole spot, Kaitlin Brookshire reached on an error, and scored on a passed ball.

The seventh and eighth runs came on a bases loaded walk to Kelley to score McGee, and an RBI single from Copeland that scored Caitlin Jernigan, who reached on a bunt.

Byrd struck out two and allowed two runs on one hit to win on the mound. Brentin Fuller came in, and got the save with four strike outs in three innings.

PHS strutted out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning with the aid of an error, and RBIs from Byrd and Dozier.

The Lady Eagles added one run in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead when Brookshire scored on another passed ball.

Brantley scored two runs in the third inning on a two-run single by Sydnee Bryan, and added two runs in the fifth inning on a two-run double by Lauren Johnson.

Pleasant Home’s one run in the seventh came on an RBI single from Weaver to score Jernigan.

Copeland was 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs; Dozier and Jernigan were 3-for-5 each; and Kelley was 3-for-4 for the Lady Eagles.

Pleasant Home 13, Brantley 3

Pleasant Home scored five runs in the third inning, and added four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to force the mercy rule over Brantley.

“That was kind of a do-or-die time for us in a sense,” Stephens said. “We just had to get the jitters out a little bit. That’s the way it is with every sport. You have to get that little bit out at first, and get to rolling, and that’s what we did.”

The Lady Eagles were led by Kelley, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Copeland was 2-for-3 with two RBis; Brookshire was 2-for-3 with one RBI; and Jernigan was 2-for-3 with three runs and an RBI. Byrd, who got the win on the mound, was 1-for-3 with three RBIs.

In the third inning, PHS scored its five runs on a three-run triple from Kelley, and RBI single from Byrd and and error.

On the day, Pleasant Home scored on two errors, and reached on base on four errors from the Lady Bulldogs.

On the field, the Lady Eagles got an out from right field on a throw home from Kelley, and executed one double play in the third inning on a pop up and tag out by McGee.

With a 5-0 lead going into the top of the fourth inning, Brantley added two runs on an RBI triple from Bryan, and an error.

Pleasant Home added four runs on hits from Brookshire, Copeland, and a ground out from Byrd in the fourth inning.

The Lady Bulldogs scored its last run of the game in the fifth on an error.

Pleasant Home sealed the deal with five runs on four hits in the fifth.