Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 28, 2015
After posting a three-run lead in the first inning, the Straughn Lady Tigers stomped Elba 9-2 in the second game of the 3A, Area 2 tournament on Thursday night in Straughn.
Elba won the first game against Pike County 7-1.
Straughn opened the game with a lead off single by Stephanie Bracewell, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Kaitlynn Wiggins that put Bracewell on second base.
Kayler Messer followed with a double to move Bracewell to third and put Messer on second.
As Katy Messick stepped up to the plate, a wild pitch ushered Bracewell in for the score making it 1-0.
Another bad pitch later brought Messer home to make it 2-0.
Messick finally got some of the ball with a double and Katie Beck pinch-ran for Messick.
Elba yet again threw a bad pitch to put Beck on third base.
Shanda Osborn stepped to the batters’ box and knocked a RBI single to make it 3-0 in the top of the first.
Elba would come back in the bottom of the first inning by scoring one run on a wild pitch.
Tigers’ head coach Ray Wilson said that the score at the end of the first inning was “big” for the team.
“That was big to get a few runs on them early,” Wilson said. “They came right back and got one in the that inning and picked up one later on.”
Despite the run by Elba, the Tigers would not let that break their focus to put more runs on the board.
In the second inning, Kelli Wilcox singled, Bracewell doubled and Wiggins bunted to load the bases with one out.
Two batters later, Messick hit a two-RBI double, ushering in Wilcox and Bracewell to make it 5-1.
With runners on second and third with two outs, Osborn hit a RBI single to score Messick and give the Lady Tigers a five-run lead.
Wilson said that overall, the team’s hitting was something to be commended.
“We did a good job hitting throughout the game, moving the runners over, bunting them and then picking up clutch hits today with runners in scoring position,” he said. “That is something we had worked on and we didn’t do that in the second game Monday. We were concentrating on that aspect of the game to try to put the ball in play move some runners when the got in scoring position.”
The Lady Tigers’ defense stepped up in the bottom of the second to allow no runs.
In the top of the third, bad pitches by Elba gave the Tigers an additional run on the board.
Tiffany Taylor led off the inning and hit a single and then moved to second on a bad pitch.
Leah Floyd used a sacrifice bunt to move Taylor to third.
When Wilcox stepped to the plate, a wild pitched ushered Taylor home to make the score 7-1.
Wilcox singled and got on base, but would be called out at second when Bracewell hit into a fielder’s choice.
The Tigers’ defense on the infield proved beneficial in the bottom of the third, when runners were called out at first for the three outs.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Elba put another run on the board with an RBI single to make it 7-2.
Wilson added the defense played well despite some plays from Elba.
“We had a couple of bunt situations early in the game we should have not made errors on,” he said. “Just simple things. Overall, we played real good defense. That’s been the key for us all year long… pitching well and playing good defense behind it and waiting until the bats come around to score some runs.”
Straughn would not score again until the top of the sixth inning when Messick was hit by a pitch and Kayla Teel hit a RBI single to score Messick making it 8-2.
Their final run came in their last at bat as Tori Bracewell singled, Wilcox hit a sacrifice bunt, Stephanie Bracewell walked and Wiggins hit a RBI single to bring in Tori Bracewell.
On the games today, Wilson said the team is currently in good position.
“We’re sitting in a good position right now,” he said. “Of course Elba will have to play Pike County again today, and we will play the winner tonight and they will have to beat us twice to win. We’re where we want to be, we’ve just got to take care of business.”
The winning pitcher was Katy Messick, who pitched four innings, allowed four hits and two runs.