Sports

September 4, 2013

Prep roundup: Lady Bruins too powerful for Southeast Whitfield softball to hold lead

For a brief time Tuesday, Southeast Whitfield High School’s softball team held the lead over powerhouse Northwest Whitfield.

After that, just about everything went the Lady Bruins’ way.

Northwest scored at least a run in each of the five innings and 13 straight from the second inning on to take a 14-2 mercy-rule victory on the road in a Sub-region 7B-4A matchup with the Lady Raiders.

Sydney Covington’s home run in the bottom of the first inning gave Southeast (4-8, 1-2) a 2-1 lead. In the next Northwest at-bat, Mallory Souther started with a double, Gabbi Helton moved her to third with an infield single and Alyssa Ward scored Souther with a bunt single. Colbie Thomas then drove in Helton with a sacrifice fly to left field.

The Lady Bruins (10-0, 3-0) scored twice more in the inning — one on a Southeast error and the other coming in on Bayli Cruse’s double — to take a 5-1 lead. Northwest would go on to score two in the third inning, three in the fourth and four in the fifth, with Thomas hitting an inside-the-park solo home run, and Macy Weeks launching a three-run bomb to cap the scoring.

Northwest finished with 17 hits, and Southeast’s defense had four errors behind Kara Headrick, who pitched all five innings.

“We want them hitting it on the ground,” Lady Bruins coach Jason Brooker said. “When you hit it on the ground, they have to get there and catch it and then make the throw. On a pop-up, they just have to catch it. And our speed puts pressure on them.”

By comparison, Northwest and starting pitcher BriLeigh Baggett had trouble in the first, both before and after Covington’s home run. Baggett walked Headrick to set up Covington’s two-out shot, and walked Brooke Hasty and Emily Beck before striking out Lilly Johnson to escape the inning. She settled down and gave up no walks and allowed just two hits the rest of the game. She finished with a complete game and struck out six.

The Lady Bruins’ four-run second helped calm Baggett’s nerves the rest of the way, Thomas said.

“When you have runs on the board, it releases their nerves instantly,” she said.

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