Saints heart broken

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Michael Kerekes | The Natchez Democrat — Trinity Episcopal’s Christina Givens slides into third base as Columbia Academy’s Kaleigh White attempts to make the tag during Tuesday’s game.

NATCHEZ — The Trinity Episcopal softball team continues to show it is a scrappy team that is on the verge of putting together some wins. But the Lady Saints just cannot get over the hump, and they lost another heart breaker Tuesday night to open up District 5-AA play against Columbia Academy.

The Saints trailed 5-2 going into the bottom half of the fifth inning and managed a run in the fifth, a run in the sixth and had runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the final inning with third-place hitter Katie Steele at the plate. Columbia Academy pitcher Jordan McNabb was able to strike out Steele, however, and the Lady Cougars hung on to win 5-4.

“We just continue to scratch and fight for everything, and I can’t be more proud of the way they are playing in this heat,” Trinity coach Chris Hutchins said. “We are just one pitch or one play somewhere away. We just have to find a way to make it be in our favor later on.”

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Both pitchers were on top of their game early in the game, and the score was 2-2 going into the top of the fifth inning when the Lady Cougars’ bats got hot.

Greta Carly led the inning off with a single, and Dianna Habgood scored her two batters later with a triple. Katelyn Martin, Meredith Bass and Ragen Barnes followed Habgood with singles of their own, and when the dust settled the Lady Cougars had tacked on three runs.

Trinity answered with unearned runs in the fifth and sixth but fell one run shy of forcing extra innings.

“We played with passion and heart,” Hutchins said. “We’ve been looking for that for two or three years. This is a good ball club.”

Jordan Petty stood out at the plate for Trinity. She went 4-for-4 on the night with a triple. Mallory Lancaster added two hits of her own and scored twice for the Lady Saints.

Steele took the loss for the Saints. She went all six innings and gave up 11 hits while striking out three batters.

McNabb got the win for Columbia Academy. She struck out six while giving up eight hits.

Hutchins said he is proud of the way that Steele has battled this year, and she is proving excellent consistency in the circle for the Lady Saints.

The loss drops Trinity to 2-5 on the season and 0-1 in district play. They will face Central Private at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.