Lady Saints come back to beat WCCA

Published 11:24 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2007

NATCHEZ — With two outs and Trinity Episcopal down to its last at-bat in the bottom of the fifth inning, it appeared that WCCA was going to escape with a one-run win.

But for the second time in the game, the Lady Saints battled back with a pair of singles and then Alyx Atkinson had the biggest hit of her young career as her two-run triple to left centerfield gave the home team a 5-4 win over the Lady Rams Tuesday afternoon at the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball Complex.

“Winners always want the ball and I wanted to hit,” Atkinson said. “I just hit. I didn’t care where it went as long as it dropped in.”

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WCCA pitcher Bethany Fletcher had struck out five batters in a row going back to the first batter of the bottom of the fourth inning. But for the second straight time, she could not get out the 2-3-4 batters in Trinity’s lineup — Olivia Walden, Rachel Bunch and Atkinson.

“They did awesome. They worked hard. They came through at the last little bit,” Trinity assistant coach Christy Corley said. “Alyx came through for us.”

So did Walden and Bunch, who started the rally with back-to-back singles that set up Atkinson’s dramatic game-winning hit.

“I thought it was a well-played game by both teams,” WCCA head coach Ray Olive said. “My hat’s off to Trinity. They played with a lot of enthusiasm. They came through and beat us.”

Walden, Bunch and Atkinson each went 2-for-3 as the Lady Saints (4-3) won their third game in a row. Atkinson also had three runs batted in and was the winning pitcher. On the mound she struck out four, scattered six hits and walked just one batter.

Despite being the losing pitcher, Fletcher had a solid performance on the mound as she struck out seven, allowed seven hits and walked one.

The Lady Rams (7-11) got off to a good start against Atkinson as Hannah Ashley hit a one-out single and courtesy runner Rachel Rodriguez stole second base, stole third base and scored on a double by Heather Stutzman. Stutzman later scored on an error. But Atkinson got Abby McDuff to fly out and struck out Kayla Arnold to get out of the jam.

“She does a good job of composing herself,” Corley said. “The defense backed her up. She gets the job done. They’re growing together as a team and communicating better.”

Trinity got on the board in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter Mary Catherine Iles singled, stole second, stole third and scored on an error. WCCA took a 3-1 lead in the top of the third when leadoff hitter Fletcher walked and later scored on an RBI single by McDuff, who went 2-for-3.

The Lady Saints tied the ball game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning. Mary Leslie Geter got on with a walk and courtesy runner Erin O’Quinn went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Iles, third on a single by Walden and scored on an RBI single by Atkinson.

“In the third inning, we had some bad luck,” Olive said. “Two pitches bounced off the pitcher for infield hits. All they needed was a little momentum.”

WCCA took a 4-3 lead when Crystal Jackson singled, went to third on a single by Taylor Littleton and scored on a passed ball.