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Centreville hosts fast-pitch tourney

CENTREVILLE — Host Centreville Academy, Adams County Christian and Trinity Episcopal all participated in the Centreville Academy Round Robin Tournament on Saturday.

And it was a mixed bag of results for the area teams.

The ACCS Lady Rebels scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to rally for an 8-7 win over Silliman Institute’s junior varsity team in the first game of the day.

“We played sloppily against Silliman, which had a bunch of young girls,” ACCS head coach Forrest Foster said. “We were down 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth. Our No. 9 batter got a base hit and then we went to the top of the order.”

Even though Foster said the defense kicked the ball around against Silliman’s JV team, the offense made up for that with 14 hits, including an inside-the-park home run by Kaitlan Melton in the bottom of the first inning.

“They’ve played a lot of tournament ball and it showed,” Foster said about Silliman’s JV team. “We took them lightly and almost got beat.”

ACCS played much better in its second game, a 9-3 win over the Trinity Episcopal Lady Saints. Mary Sanders, who pitched all three games for the Lady Rebels, threw a four-hitter, struck out four and walked just two batters.

“She threw a real good game against Trinity,” Foster said. “We hit the ball well. We had 15 base runners.”

Melton went 3-for-3 while Ashton Mason had her second straight big game at the plate by going 2-for-2 with a double and Abby Givens went 2-for-3. The Lady Rebels took advantage of six walks by Lady Saints pitcher Katie Steele.

The second game of the day saw Centreville’s Ariana Bigner come close to pitching a perfect game as the Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Saints 6-1.

“We got outstanding pitching from Ariana,” Centreville head coach Mark Mann said. “In fact, she had a perfect game through three innings.”

However, Trinity put a halt to that by scoring one run on two hits in the top of the fourth inning. But it wasn’t nearly enough.

“We had no errors. For our first outing, I was real pleased. We were energetic and enthused,” Mann said.

Centreville’s junior varsity team lost to Silliman’s JV team 14-4 Saturday afternoon. Amanda Brown was charged with the loss.

The final game of the day turned out to be a good one between ACCS and Centreville despite the blazing heat. The Lady Tigers got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth inning and held on for a 3-1 win over the Lady Rebels.

It was for the most part a pitchers’ duel between Sanders and Centreville’ Tori Rouse. Sanders allowed just four hits while striking out three and walking three. Unfortunately, a couple of those walks occurred in the bottom of the first inning, which allowed Centreville to take a 2-0 lead.

“What got us in trouble with Centreville in the first inning was with one out we walked two batters and then they got a single. Then with two outs they got a single to bring in two runs,” Foster said. “Other than that first inning, it was a real competitive ball game.”

Rouse held ACCS to five hits – all singles – struck out five and walked three. And she did a good job pitching out of trouble with the game on the line.

“Both pitchers played well. We had a chance to take the lead. We had the bases loaded and one out in the fourth inning. We made a base-running error and they turned into a double play,” Foster said. “It was inexperience at the base pads, just like (Friday). I’m not upset about it.”

Abby Givens led off the top of the fourth with a single. Nikki Worthy then singled and Kaitlan Pace walked to load the bases. Katie Russ singled to bring in Worthy to make it a 3-1 game.

“Maggie Rae hit a line drive to the first baseman. She dropped the ball, but she tagged Maggie on the way up for the first out. That kind of froze our runners,” Foster said.

However, Rouse put a halt to ACCS’ attempted rally by getting Melton to hit into a game-ending double play. Melton hit a short fly ball to centerfield and that doubled Pace at second for the third out.

“That’s always big when you have the bases loaded and nobody out and give up just one run. That’s pretty impressive,” Mann said. “Last year, Tori didn’t pitch a whole lot. She’s a very solid pitcher. She had three or four pitches. When she’s on, she’s tough.”

While Mann said he was pleased with how Bigner and Rouse performed on the mound, he added that the offense needs to get better.

“Both of them had all their pitches working. They had command of their pitches,” Mann said. “Our first outing (against Trinity), we had a few girls who put the ball in play. We also had a few girls who struggled. That was our Achilles heel last year. We’ve been focusing on that some more.”

In addition to the losses to ACCS and Centreville, Trinity Episcopal also lost to Silliman’s JV team and ended up the only winless team in the tournament.

ACCS returns to action on Monday when it hosts Jackson Academy. The JV game starts at 4 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 5:30 p.m. Trinity Episcopal hosts Central Private for two games on Tuesday starting at 5 p.m. Centreville plays host to Amite School Center on Tuesday with the JV game beginning at 6 p.m. and the varsity game starting at 7:15 p.m.

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