ACCS gives up five in the final inning to fall 8-7

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Christian School Lady Rebels were just three outs away from defeating Amite School Center and notching their third win of the season.

That was until the visiting Lady Rebels from Liberty took advantage of the one thing that has plagued ACCS this young season — pitching. The inability to get batters out at key points in the game has hurt ACCS so far this year.

In all, ACCS walked four batters and hit a batter and Amite School Center ended up scoring five runs in the top of the fifth inning to rally for an astonishing 8-7 win Tuesday night at the ACCS softball field.

Email newsletter signup

“The walks got us. That’s our Achilles heel,” ACCS head coach Forrest Foster said. “Games like this teach you character. They teach you it ain’t over until it’s over.”

ACCS took a 7-3 lead into the top of the fifth before Abby Givens, who had been sensational through the first four innings, walked the first three batters she faced. Sensing that she was tiring out, Foster made a pitching change.

“So the best thing we could do is pull her and put in Brooke Runnels,” he said. “It’s a tough position to bring a kid in. But I was extremely proud of Abby for pitching like she did for four innings.”

Those three runs scored and were charged to Givens. Two more runs scored against Runnels, making her the losing pitcher. And Runnels struck out two batters in the visiting half of the fifth. Unfortunately for the host Lady Rebels, they were not able come up with a rally of their own and the game was over.

“Up to that point, we played a really good ball game. It was the best pitching performance we had all year,” Foster said. “Abby started. She did extremely well. She walked just one batter through four innings. And to me, that’s very good.”

But there was a key moment in the early stages of the game that also helped Amite School Center in its amazing come-from-behind win.

“The turning point was the very first inning. Abby walked and Tory Laird hit a beautiful shot, a line drive to centerfield that the centerfielder, May, was running in for and made a heck of a shoestring catch. If she hadn’t made the catch, it would’ve gone to the wall for sure. That was a huge defensive play for them.”

Givens, who went 2-for-2 at the plate, ended up being double up at first base and the visiting Lady Rebels still had a 2-0 lead heading into the second inning. But even after that, ACCS still had a good chance to win the ball gave after scoring seven runs over the next three innings to take the four-run lead.

ACCS (2-3) plays at Wilkinson County Christian Academy for a varsity doubleheader Thursday starting at 5 p.m.

Trinity Episcopal 1, Central Private 0

BAKER, La. — One day after scoring 13 runs in a win over Wilkinson County Christian Academy, Central Private School was shut out by Trinity Episcopal’s Katie Steele.

Steele allowed just four runners to reach base and struck out nine batters in Trinity’s hard-fought victory Tuesday afternoon.

“It was one of the gutsiest dominant pitching performances I have ever seen out of Katie Steele,” Trinity head coach Chris Hutchins said.

The game was a classic pitchers’ duel between Steele and Central Private sophomore Alex Stuckey. Stuckey kept the Lady Saints off the scoreboard for the first five innings and held them to just three hits.

However, one of those hits proved to be the game-winner — Ashleigh Williams’ one-out triple that brought in Amelia Conn. Conn ran for Steele, who reached first base on a walk.

Steele gave up just two hits and walked two, and the defense behind her was outstanding with no errors.

“We didn’t hit the ball very well, but the defense was steady all day,” Hutchins said. “I thought it was a real good win for our program, winning a close game. Shows a lot of heart.”

Trinity Episcopal (2-3) hosts Centreville Academy Thursday with the junior varsity game at 6 p.m. and the varsity game at 7:15 p.m.

Brookhaven Academy 7, Centreville Academy 5

CENTREVILLE — Brookhaven Academy senior pitcher Laura Beth Wright kept the Lady Cougars in the game after a tough first inning and the offense responded over a two-inning stretch that helped them rally past Centreville Academy Tuesday night.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning of play and had a 5-0 advantage heading into the third inning. But that’s when Brookhaven started its comeback.

The Lady Cougars scored four runs in the top of the third inning to make it a 5-4 ball game. Wright then kept the Lady Tigers off the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, and the momentum was squarely on the visitors’ side.

A three-run rally in the top of the fourth inning gave Brookhaven the lead for good at 7-5. Wright, who held the Lady Tigers in the five-inning contest, preserved the win with two more shutout innings.

Centreville (3-1) was led by Tori Rouse and Katie Berry, who each had a double.

WCCA 10, Ben’s Ford 7

BOGALUSA, La. — Mary Katherine Doucet and Lauren Dejean combined for all seven of WCCA’s hits as the Lady Rams held on to defeat Ben’s Ford in a five-inning game Tuesday afternoon for its first win of the season.

As for how it felt to get that first win out of the way early in the season, head coach Brandi McDaniel said, “It feels good. We’re still getting there. Working on a few kinks. We played really good.”

Doucet went 4-for-4 and Dejean was 3-for-3 with a double as WCCA built a 10-2 lead after four and a half innings, only to stave off Ben’s Ford rally in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“We tried to give it up in the last inning,” McDaniel said. She didn’t go into details as to how the Lady Eagles scored five runs in their last at-bat to make the score a lot closer than it should have been. “Overall, I was pleased.”

Hannah Lanehart was the winning pitcher despite an unusual line score — five innings pitched, seven runs, four hits, five strikeouts and eight walks. The Lady Rams did play much better defense than they did in a season-opening loss to Central Private as they committed just two errors.

“She pitched well. We’ve got to cut down on the walks,” McDaniel said. “She’s not giving up any big hits. Both times she’s pitched, the other team has been hitting grounders.”

WCCA (1-1) hosts ACCS for a varsity doubleheader Thursday beginning at 5 p.m.