Silliman beats ACCS

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Adams County Christian School shortstop Abby Givens tags out Silliman Institute’s Bradliegh Brignac Monday night during the Lady Rebels 6-2 home loss. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — It wasn’t until the fifth inning that the Adams County Christian School softball team was able to muster any offense against Silliman Institute Monday night.

And by then, it was too little too late.

The Lady Wildcats rode the strong pitching of starter Kaitlyn Weaver to a 6-2 victory. Both of the Lady Rebels’ two runs were scored in the bottom of the fifth, the final inning of play.

“That team finished second in the state last year, and they only lost one player from that team,” ACCS head coach Forrest Foster said.

“Weaver had a lot of speed on her pitches. She’s a good pitcher. They beat us 14-4 the last time we played them (earlier this season), so this is an improvement.”

Foster said the advantage of playing such a potent team is exposing his players to the level of pitching the Lady Rebels (11-12, 2-3) saw from Weaver.

“It makes us be more aggressive at the plate,” Foster said. “Our problem is our tendency to over-swing. We weren’t short enough with some of our swings, and when the girls did put it into play, (Silliman) made some errors.”

Silliman wasted no time scoring runs in the top of the first inning. Taylor LeBlanc was the first to cross home plate for the Lady Wildcats when Kayla Davidson drove her in on a single. Davidson later scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0 after one.

ACCS starter Brooke Runnells ran into some trouble in the fifth with the bases juiced. Bradleigh Brignac drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring LeBlanc. Addie Roberts walked in the next at-bat, bringing home Davidson.

The Lady Rebels’ Braxtyn Elveston reached third in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving ACCS the biggest scoring threat it had up until that point. But the Lady Rebels failed to bring Elveston home, making it 4-0 Silliman after four.

In the top of the fifth, Silliman tacked on two more runs. Callie Venable singled in Roberts and Taylor Rogillio scored on a fielding error by ACCS shortstop Abby Givens.

The Lady Rebels’ scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth when a single by Jessica Reynolds drove in Kaitlyn Pace. Givens scored on the same play after the throw home sailed over Venable at catcher.

Weaver got the win, going five innings and striking out seven while walking three. Runnells took the loss, striking out four and walking 10 in five innings pitched.

“I was proud of Brooke,” Foster said. “She’s pitched so well lately that when she walked two or three batters, it got under her skin. That meant that she showed a good competitive nature. She has a desire to get better and better.”

Even though he said he was glad his team got to face that level of pitching, Foster said there was an inherent disadvantage for the Rebels coming into the game.

“When you play a team of this nature, you’re down mentally before the game ever starts,” Foster said. “You have to make yourself feel like you can play with them.

“They’re a good team, but we’re no slouch. They had the mental advantage to start out.”

ACCS will travel to Jackson Academy today.