Lady Eagles win area championship with ease “Throwback Thursday”
Pleasant Home didn’t have any trouble claiming the Class 1A, Area 3 championship on Saturday, needing only 40 minutes to dispatch McKenzie 21-0 before beating Brantley 14-0 and 10-0 to sweep through their area tournament.
The Lady Eagles quickly took McKenzie out of game in the first round, cruising to 12 runs alone in the first frame before adding nine more in the second to end the game in the third inning.
Erin Byrd got Pleasant Home started to open the contest, bunting her way to first, with a following walk to Kati Reeves moving her into scoring position. From there, the runs began to flow freely. An error led to the first Eagle run, with a walk to Kayla Woods turning into a triple that brought across two more. Megan Cook then blasted a single to bring in Woods, with an inside-the-park home run by Ariel Gunter quickly pushing the score to 6-0.
Wild pitches brought home a couple more runs, with triples from Brittany Ward and Cook knocking the margin to 12-0 as the first frame came to an end.
Pleasant Home had just as much success offensively in the second inning. A wild pitch brought in Katy Brookshire across the plate for the 13th run, with a double from Bryd and a single by K. Reeves bringing in one more. Another inside-the-park home run, this time by Woods, stretched the lead to 17-0, with a double by Gunter, combined with a triple by Byrd, bringing the last four runs of the contest.
Gina Davis picked up the win, no-hitting McKenzie for three innings while recording six strikeouts.
The Lady Eagles started just as quickly in their second contest, running out to an early 10-0 lead over Brantley after the first two frames, before adding four runs in the fourth to secure the win.
Byrd once again got the Eagles started offensively in the first frame, jacking a single straight up the middle to get on base. Jessica Johns then reached on an error, with a single from Ward pushing across Johns for a 1-0 lead. Jessi Reeves loaded the bases soon after with a bunt single, with a double from K. Reeves emptying the bags for three more runs.
Gunter’s bat was just as hot in the second contest as she recorded a triple to stretch the lead to 5-0 before coming in to score on yet another Brantley error. A triple from Kim Phillips, along with a groundout by Cook, combined to bring in the last two runs of the frame.
After, Eagle ace Katy Wiggins’ struck out the side to begin the second, Pleasant Home added to their lead with three more runs in the bottom of the frame.
Johns reached on an error to begin the inning, before coming in to score on a double by Ward. Sam Poole then singled in Woods and K. Reeves to end the inning and put the Eagles up by double digits at 10-0.
Neither team was able to make much of a mark in the third frame, but Pleasant Home once again come out firing in the fourth. Wiggins got the Eagles started with a leadoff single, then advanced to second on a groundout by J. Reeves. An error pushed Woods across the bags, with another error on hit by Davis giving the Eagles a 120 lead.
Woods then knocked a triple to plate Davis, with a double from Byrd bringing in Woods for the second time in the inning for the final 14-0 margin.
Wiggins was on fire for the Eagles, picking up the win after striking out 10 Brantley batters in five innings.
Wiggins would carry over that success into the championship game, where she and her teammates once again found themselves facing Brantley. This time though the Eagles weren’t able to score until the bottom of the third inning, when an error pushed Byrd across. That momentum carried over to the fourth frame, when Pleasant Home picked up three runs on singles by Phillips, Cook and Wiggins to pad their lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Pleasant Home came through with another offensive outburst, thanks to doubles by K. Reeves, Davis and Johns that led to six runs and an early ending to the game.