Melton’s speed on basepaths propels ACCS to 7-3 win Mon.
NATCHEZ — When Kaitlan Melton reaches base for ACCS, it isn’t exactly a secret what’s coming next.
And yet, despite knowing she’s going to run, no pitcher has stopped her yet this season.
Monday was such a day for Melton, who scored all three times she reached base en route to a 7-3 ACCS win against Jackson Academy.
“I told (Kaitlan) I had a problem with her. When she asked me what it was, I told her, ‘You don’t have eight sisters,’” said Forrest Foster, ACCS head softball coach.
“She’s quick. You can’t teach speed. It also helps when you have people hitting behind her that will move her over and put pressure on their defense. She was only thrown out once last year, and that was to WCCA.”
Melton said there’s no question in her mind what’s happening when she gets to first base — and she’s OK with whatever the coach tells her to do as long as she gets on.
“I steal every time I get on. When I first get on, he tells me to steal, and I know I have to run fast, but I tell myself I have to play focused and confidently,” Melton said.
“I like hitting better than I do bunting, but I can usually beat out a bunt. I’ll do whatever helps the team.”
Melton scored first for ACCS in the first inning when Jackson Academy catcher Abby Horner tried to throw her out at second when she stole. Horner’s throw went into the outfield, allowing Melton to cross home plate.
Abby Givens drove in another run with a single to make it 2-0 ACCS after one inning.
Jackson Academy scored its first run in the top of the third, but ACCS added to more runs in the bottom half of the frame. Melton scored her second run on a passed ball, and another run scored from third on a fielder’s choice by Ashton Mason.
Two more Jackson Academy runners crossed home in the top of the fourth, but the Lady Rebels answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Kaitlen Pace scored on a double by Katie Russ, and Melton singled to drive in another run from third. After a ball passed by Horner, Melton ran all the way to third, then made it home on an errant throw, making the score 7-3 ACCS.
Lady Rebels starter Mary Sanders pitched a scoreless fifth inning to secure the win.
“Mary got ahead in the pitch count just about every time, and that allowed her to use her entire arsenal,” Foster said.
“Even when she fell behind, she fought back. Her curveball was great today, and she didn’t walk too many batters today.”
Foster also had high praises for Mason, who is growing into her position at catcher, he said.
“She’s really coming around at the plate. This is her first year to catch full time,” Foster said.
ACCS (3-2) will play at Centreville Thursday for its first district game of the season.