Delta Charter softball rallies twice, can’t close against University Academy

Published 12:18 am Saturday, April 1, 2017

Delta Charter School fought back from two separate lead changes, but an eight-run fifth inning for University Academy proved to be too much for the Lady Storm to handle Friday night.

Delta Charter scored three runs in the second and fourth innings, pushing ahead both times, yet ultimately falling to the Lady Lions, 15-7.

“I like to play teams like that because that’s what we are going to see in the playoffs,” DCS coach Jeannie Beach said. “Hats off to them because they are a good team.”

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The Lady Storm tallied 10 hits on the night, but failed to follow through on multiple occasions, leaving three runners on base and two loaded bases. While Beach said she was pleased to see the strong offense, she said her team needs to clean up the open opportunities.

“We know they can get the job done and they have potential,” she said. “We just want to get that mental game going. If we execute with people on base, I think we will be alright.”

Down 2-0, Shelbi McManus led the second-inning effort for Delta Charter on a two-RBI single to left. Haley Sharp followed with an RBI single to give DCS its first lead of the night.

McManus ended the game going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored.

University Academy responded in the third with three runs of its own, highlighted by Payton Lemoine’s two-run homer over the centerfield fence.

Sharp, Darby Beach and Kaitlyn Dooley all had RBIs in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead for the Lady Storm, but the rally wasn’t enough.

Jania Burns took the loss for Delta Charter, pitching all seven innings. The senior allowed 14 hits and gave up seven walks, striking out five batters on the night.

Although it wasn’t her most notable performance in the circle, Burns did hit a home run of her own in the sixth inning for the Lady Storm’s final run of the game. She and Dooley also ended with two hits each for Delta Charter.

“We just have to be able to put our spin on the balls,” Beach said. “In order for us to beat teams like them, (Burns) has to be on.”

DCS (9-6) will be back in action at 1 p.m. today at LaGrange, and will face the Lady Lions (12-4) again Monday at home.

“I’m so glad we get to play them again,” Beach said. “I’m looking forward to that opportunity.”