Teams fall at regional

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Straughn’s Carolina Fussell (top) tries to make a tag at second base as Molly Stewart (33) looks on Saturday.

Straughn’s Carolina Fussell (top) tries to make a tag at second base as Molly Stewart (33) looks on Saturday.

GULF SHORES — Slocomb scored three runs in the top of the 12th inning and handed Straughn a tough, 4-1 loss Saturday night, ending the Lady Tigers’ season at the Class 3A South Regional.

The Lady Redtops and Tigers battled back and forth with a 1-1 tie for eight innings that saw two great performances from pitchers Dee Gantt of Straughn and Amy Woodham of Slocomb.

Gantt caught a liner to end the top of the eighth, retired Slocomb in order in the ninth and 10th; and got out of a no-out, bases loaded jam in the 11th with the help of a double play.

In the deciding inning, Slocomb put together back-to-back RBIs to break the tie and get ahead just enough to allow Woodham to finish her work.

“Wow,” Lady Tigers coach Kenny Skipper said. “That’s all I can say. Dee pitched lights out right there. Twelve innings, and the only runs she gave up was three runs in the 12th. I don’t know how many strikeouts she had, but I know this, she threw a lot of ground balls and fly outs.

“Anytime you lose one like that right there, it’s hard to swallow,” he said. “I was proud of the way they kept fighting and kept fighting. Sometimes the ball bounces your way, and sometimes it doesn’t. (Saturday), it didn’t.”

Slocomb’s Tara Trant hit an RBI triple to break the tie, and Adrian Tew hit an RBI single to put the Lady Redtops ahead 3-1 in the 12th. Tew later scored on a fielder’s choice.
This showdown came only a day after the Lady Redtops topped Straughn 8-2 in the first round of the regional.

Straughn led 1-0 after the second inning when Hayden Willis hit an RBI triple.

Slocomb tied the game in the top of the third on an error.

Skipper eluded to the fact that his team’s first loss against Slocomb set the tone for the tournament.

“We put ourselves in a hole early the first time we played them,” he said. “It’s hard to come back, but not impossible. It puts your mind set different.

“We had the right one when we came out here (Saturday),” he said. “We beat T.R. Miller (8-3 Saturday) morning, and played 12 with a dang-good softball team. I don’t know what that girl’s name is, but (Woodham) is an athlete and a player.”

Tew and Shelby Cox led Slocomb with four hits each.

Woodham allowed no runs on two hits in 10 innings and struck out five for the win.

Straughn’s Paige Taylor went 2-for-5; and Katelyn Kinsaul went 1-for-5.

Brentley Armstrong and Gantt hit back-to-back two-run doubles in the top of the third inning, all with two outs, to help lead Straughn passed TRM.

Taylor added an RBI double in the fourth to give her team a 7-3 lead.

Willis had three strikeouts and allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings.

Molly Stewart went 2-for-4 with a triple and two runs to lead SHS.

Straughn finished its season with around 29 wins, and the good thing about this team is that it will be returning everybody next year, Skipper said.

“There are a lot of things to look forward to next year,” he said. “As far as this season goes, we had some peaks and some valleys, which is going to happen with every season. Overall, we played some dang-good softball this year. They’re going to stay hungry. We’re going to put it together.

“We’re going to have a good summer workout session, and get back at it in February,” he said.

Slocomb 4, Opp 0

Slocomb went ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning, and Opp couldn’t get anything going at bat in the season-ending loss.

There were a couple of big opportunities where the Lady Bobcats could score some runs in the game.

In the fifth, Paige Johnson led the inning with a double, but the next three batters hit pop-ups. In the sixth, Ariyon Hightower reached first on an error with one out, but the next two batters were retired with pop ups again.

Johnson led Opp’s four-hit game, going 2-for-3. Anna Harrelson, and senior Kelley Pierce had one hit each.

“We just didn’t get the big hits, which has been kind of the big story all year,” Lady Bobcats coach Jimmy Reeves said. “We get them on, and can’t get them in. It seems like we have one bad inning, and we just haven’t been able to catch fire and be able to overcome that.”

Reeves said he was particularly proud of this team, especially the seniors in Pierce and Laiken Free.

“They’ve fought the good fight,” he said. “I’ve had two of the best seniors I can remember having — Laiken Free and Kelley Pierce. They showed great leadership.

“We just couldn’t get it done,” he said. “Sometimes you just can’t get it done.”

The Lady Bobcats finished their season 21-14.