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Trinity clinch No. 2 seed in playoffs in win against WCCA

Trinity Episcopal School player Tali Beard gets waved on to round third base during their game against Wilkinson County Christian School at Concordia Recreation District 3 Thursday. Beard hit an inside-the-park home run. (JUSTIN SELLERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)
Trinity Episcopal School player Tali Beard gets waved on to round third base during their game against Wilkinson County Christian School at Concordia Recreation District 3 Thursday. Beard hit an inside-the-park home run. (JUSTIN SELLERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)

Vidalia — It looked like it would be the Tali Beard show when she scored Trinity Episcopal’s only two runs against Wilkinson County Christian Academy by the bottom of the third.

But the Lady Saints found some offensive force in the bottom of the fifth to clinch the No. 2 seed in the South State playoff with a 5-1 win against WCCA.

Beard and Kayla Gilmore both went 2-for-3 at the plate Thursday. For WCCA, Carmen Cavin and Rhiannon Nettles both had multiple hits, Cavin went 2-for-4 and Nettles went 2-for-3.

She got hot early with a triple in the bottom of the first inning before stealing home on a wild pitch to put Trinity on the scoreboard.

Wilkinson evened the score in the top of the third when Jamie Lewis scored on Carmen Cavin’s single.

But Beard took the lead back for the Lady Saints with an in-field homerun at the Concordia District 3 complex.

Trinity head coach Miranda Doughty said she thought Beard would be the only Lady Saint on the scoreboard Thursday.

“For awhile I thought it’d be Tali-2, WCCA-1,” she said. “Sometimes you just see the ball well and she did that (Thursday).”

Even though that would be all Trinity needed to win the game, the Lady Saints brought more firepower in the bottom of the fifth inning to secure their victory.

With two outs and two strikes, Mallory Lancaster refused to go back to the dugout 0-for-3 as she singled to bring home Marty Lewis and Gabby Knight.

Lancaster would cross home plate two plays later with a double by Kayla Gilmore.

The game ended after Trinity got the Lady Rams’ first three batters out in the top of the sixth.

Doughty she is pleased with the progress her team has made from week one until now.

“From the first game to this game has been a difference,” she said. “We went from making 11 errors and allowing 13 unearned runs to having no errors on the game.”

Doughty said she felt like her defense made a conscience effort to play aggressive against the Lady Rams.

“I told my outfielders to step it up,” Doughty said. “I wanted some running catches and in the first inning, Gabby (Knight) did that for me.”

WCCA head coach Jesse Toney said Trinity has really evolved into a playoff-caliber team in Doughty’s tenure.

And he said a lot of thins Trinity did Thursday was out of his players’ hands.

“Some balls Trinity hit were in the right place,” he said. “I compliment them on putting the ball in play.”

When it comes to his Lady Rams, Toney said his players have made major strides since the beginning of the season and they showed their toughness against Trinity.

“My team has improved from day one,” Toney said. “These girls stayed in the game. We had opportunities to take the lead but couldn’t get it to go.”

Trinity will head to the South State tournament Saturday to play the winner of District eight.