Trinity beats Tensas Academy

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trinity Episcopal’s Tali Beard safely steals third base before Tensas Academy’s Hannah James can make the tag Monday evening. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — A seven-run first inning propelled the Trinity Episcopal softball team to a 16-4 win against Tensas Academy Monday night.

Lady Saints starter Katie Steele pitched four innings, striking out three, to secure the win. Tensas Academy starter Bailey Keys took the loss.

Trinity head coach Chris Hutchins said he was pleased to see his team hitting well with runners in scoring position and showing solid skills on defense.

“I was proud of the way we played,” Hutchins said. “We hit the ball as well as we have in the last couple of weeks, and this is a fine tune up game for Columbia Academy, who we play (today).

“I liked the approach we had at the plate and the aggressiveness we had on the mound and the defensive side of the ball.”

Hutchins said hitting with runners in scoring position is something Trinity’s gotten better with after struggling early in the year.

“That was a real positive change,” Hutchins said. “Early in the year, in a lot of those 1-0 losses, we left a lot of people on base. Thanks to the constant work, we have a better approach in that situation to drive the ball into the gap. It makes a big difference.”

Trinity got behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Saints came back in the bottom half of the frame and scored seven runs, all on two outs.

The inning was highlighted by a bases-clearing triple courtesy of Christina Givens, which scored Randa Morace, Mallory Lancaster and Caitlyn Upton.

The Lady Saints then scored three runs apiece in the second, third and fourth innings. Tensas Academy managed only one additional run in the top of the fourth.

Mary Kate Huber’s single in the bottom of the second scored Ashleigh Williams. A single by Lancaster two batters later scored Williams and Morace.

In the third inning, Upton and Tali Beard came on a ground-rule double by Amelia Conn. Conn stole second, then scored on a passed ball.

Morace came home on a passed ball in the bottom of the fourth, making it 14-4 Trinity. Upton singled in Lancaster, then Beard drove in Upton on a single to end the game 16-4 due to the 12-runs-after-four mercy rule.

With the win, Trinity turns its attention to a key district matchup tonight at Columbia Academy. The two are set to play at 5:15 p.m.

“(Tonight) is a must-win,” Hutchins said. “I think our girls are ready.”