Prep roundups: Centreville sweeps tourney

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 31, 2011

CENTREVILLE — Despite over a week’s worth of on-and-off rain as well as high heat and humidity, the 2011 Centreville Academy Round Robin Invitational Tournament went on as scheduled Saturday.

In addition to the host Lady Tigers, two local teams — ACCS and Trinity Episcopal — as well as Franklin Academy from Winnsboro, La., participated in the tournament. Each of the four teams played three games.

Centreville ended up going undefeated after getting past Franklin Academy in the last game of the day. ACCS and Trinity, however, struggled after both teams had their regular-season and home openers postponed a day earlier due to heavy rain in Natchez.

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“As far as our team goes, as coaches, we really didn’t know what to expect,” Centreville head coach Mark Mann said. “With all the rain we’ve had, we’ve only practiced one or two days a week the last few weeks. Very pleased with the way we played.”

The Lady Saints’ bats finally got going in their third game of the day, but it wasn’t enough as they were defeated by the cross-town rival ACCS Lady Rebels 9-6.

Trinity trailed 9-1 going into the bottom of the fourth inning before making the game interesting by scoring five runs and having the game-tying run at the plate. However, the Lady Saints hit into a rally-stopping and game-ending 4-3-1 double play.

“It was an exciting ball game. The pitching was so much better the last ball game,” ACCS head coach Forrest Foster said. “We struggled with our pitching the first two games.”

“The girls fought hard in the last inning against ACCS. I had a bad call at third base. I share in blame in that defeat,” Trinity head coach Chris Hutchins said.

That would turn out to be the only win of the day for ACCS. The Lady Rebels allowed double-digit run scoring against both Centreville and Franklin Academy. In their first game, they lost to the Lady Tigers in the tournament opener, 9-1. Then later on in the day, it was the Lady Cougars who put on an offensive display against ACCS as they took an 11-3 victory.

In the loss to Centreville, Brooke Runnels walked eight Lady Tigers batters. In the loss to Franklin Academy, the Lady Rebels walked 11 Lady Cougars batters

“That’s going to be our Achilles heel all season long. Once the pitching caves in everything caves in,” Foster said. “Pitching is the key to this game. Our team is going to do as our pitchers do.”

But in the win over Trinity, Runnels had a much better showing in a winning effort on the mound as she held the Lady Saints to just four hits.

“I was proud of Runners in the last ball game after she overcome some adversity in the first game,” Foster said. “Defensively, we played well. We’ve got a real strong defense. When our pitching is on, we’ll be fine. We’ll put the ball in play.”

ACCS plays host to Class AAA Jackson Academy at 6 p.m. Monday.

Just like ACCS, Trinity Episcopal had a hard time not only getting runs across home plate, but getting runners on base in its first couple of games. The Lady Saints could not cool down Franklin Academy’s bats and were held to four hits themselves in an 11-3 loss Saturday morning.

Trinity had just one hit through two innings. Then in the third inning, Katie Steele doubled to score Christina Givens. Amelia Conn came in for Steele at second base and later scored on a passed ball. Tali Beard’s single to centerfield brought in Randa Morace in the fourth inning.

Trinity was shut out in its second game and lost to Centerville 5-0 in a three-inning contest. The Lady Saints had just one hit in the contest against winning pitcher Ariana Bigner. In the win over ACCS, Bigner also went all three innings to pick up the victory.

The Lady Tigers were led by Laramie Greer, who had a triple and Tori Rouse, who went 2-for-2.

“I felt like we did not hit the ball well at all until the last inning against ACCS. Our pitching was okay. Our defense was okay,” Hutchins said. “I don’t know if it was the heat or having an early start. But we didn’t play with any passion.

“We saw really good pitching throughout the day. We haven’t gotten our groove yet hitting the ball. I hope we bounce back Monday night.”

That’s when Trinity Episcopal hosts Porter’s Chapel. The junior varsity game starts at 6 p.m. and the varsity game gets under way at 7:15 p.m.

After winning its first two games in convincing fashion, Centreville took on Franklin Academy to see which team would run the table in tournament play.

And it was the Lady Tigers who prevailed with a hard-fought 6-2 win over the Lady Cougars. Rouse was the winning pitcher for Centreville.

“We got some key hits, and pitching and defense were solid. I was surprised at how well we hit the ball,” Mann said. “As far as the tournament, Trinity and ACCS looked pretty good. They both have young ball clubs.”

Mann added that the tournament went better than even he expected it to go.

“With the weather we’ve had, I didn’t know if we were going to get it in. It was hot and the sun was shining. But I don’t think anyone’s complaining. It was a welcome sight,” Mann said.

“None of this would be possible without good parents. It was a big success. Everything was smooth,” Mann added. “The parents really stepped up this year. We pulled a total renovation on our ball park.”

Centerville hosts Brookhaven Academy on Tuesday with the JV game at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 7:15 p.m.