Opp defense rolls past AHS

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Opp’s Anna Harrelson struck out four and allowed two hits in 7.0 innings to earn the win for the Lady Bobcats. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Lady Bobcats win 5-1 in season-opener over AHS

Behind a strong pitching performance and an improved defense, Opp’s girls beat rival Andalusia 5-1 in its season-opener at the Dwight Mikel Athletic Complex on Tuesday night.

The Lady Bobcats scored three runs in the fourth inning and added two more in the sixth to come away with the win.

Opp pitcher Anna Harrelson struck out four and allowed one run in two hits in a complete game for the win.

“For a first game, I couldn’t be happier for the defense and the pitching,” OHS coach Jimmy Reeves said. “Good pitching, good catching and good defense — it’s hard to beat that.”

For Andalusia, the Lady Bulldogs were coming off of a 11-4 Monday night loss to Pleasant Home.

AHS’ only hits came in the second inning when it scored its only run on an RBI single from Sam Greene that scored courtesy runner Aiteria Green.

AHS coach Teresa Herring said the game last night was a lot “better” than Monday night’s game against the Lady Eagles.

“It’s going to continue to get better,” Herring said. “Sam had a big hit — we’ve just got to string them together. We’ve had some good individual hits. We can’t seem to put them together yet.”

In the fourth inning, the Lady Bobcats scored their three runs on three hits.

Savannah Gerber got on base after getting hit by a pitch and quickly moved to third after a Kelly Pierce double two batters later.

Gerber and Pierce were later driven in thanks to Erica Ladson’s two-run double.

“My catcher, Erica Ladson got the big hit and cranked us off a bit,” Reeves said.

Opp scored its last run of the inning when Cayla Hughes hit an RBI single to score Ladson’s courtesy runner.

The Lady Bobcats’ three hits in the fourth came from players late in the line up, which was good to see, Reeves said.

Pierce, Ladson and Hughes are the seven, eight and nine hole hitters.

From then on, the Lady Bobcats set the game in cruise control behind Harrelson’s performance on the mound.

Harrelson retired three batters each from the fourth until the seventh inning.

Opp put the game out of reach in the sixth when the Lady Bobcats added two runs on an RBI single from Ladson to score Gerber, and a throwing error that sent Harrelson home from third base.

“They did the squeeze on us and we had a three to first that went by, and that hurt us,” Herring said. “Again, that’s just getting reps in and we’re going to keep it up. They hit the ball, and they’ve got a good team over there.”

Ladson was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run; and Hughes was 1-for-3 with one RBI for OHS.

Greene was 1-for-2 with one RBI for AHS.

Additionally, Opp got a win in junior varsity action, defeating Andalusia 6-0 behind another strong pitching performance from Kaitlyn Schively.

Schively had six strikeouts and allowed one hit and no walks.

Opp will host Samson tomorrow in junior varsity and varsity action.

Andalusia will play host to its annual high school tournament Friday and Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs face rival Straughn at 5 p.m. on Friday night in their first game.

Opp is also in the AHS tournament, and will play Alma Bryant on Friday, also at 5 p.m.