Undefeated Tigerettes topple Columbia Central 5-3
First year head coach Holly Barnes has the Tigerettes fired up for the 2008 season and it showed Monday afternoon in Lewisburg as they remained undefeated at 3-0 with a solid 5-3 win over the always tough AAA Columbia Central Lady Lions.
Mieke Wallace picked up her third victory of the campaign, going 5 2/3 innings before giving way to freshman Kayla Harmon who retired all four batters she faced to get the save.
"Mieke was really fighting out there", said Barnes. "That was the most she has pitched all year and when she walked those couple of batters in the sixth inning, I knew she was tiring. Kayla came in and did a great job for us."
Harmon entered the game in a pressure situation with bases loaded and two outs in the top of the sixth, but the freshman quelled the fired, retiring Courtney Barker on a pop-up to shortstop, Kaci Ezell.
There was no scoring in the first inning by either club, but Central struck first blood in the top of the second on an RBI single to center by Haley Smith.
MCHS got the run right back in the bottom of the frame when Addricka O'Neal scored on a fielder's choice RBI by Jennifer Young.
Columbia failed to score in the third, sending the Tigerettes up to bat.
Catcher McKenna Moffett, who became the first athlete in Marshall County High School history to win a state championship in two sports with the title in basketball and as a member of the 2005 softball title team, walked to lead off the bottom of the inning.
After a strikeout, Brandie Jett beat out a slap single to put runners on first and second. Stashia Osborne followed with a hard single to right to load the sacks.
Wallace helped her own cause with a 6-3 fielder's choice RBI to give the Tigerettes a one run lead and then O'Neal blasted a shot over the right fielder's head to clear the sacks and make the score 4-1. Lauren Anderson gave the Tigerettes a 5-1 lead with a hard shot to left.
Wallace escaped a bases loaded one out jam in the top of the fourth with a whiff and a nice play by Osborne at second on a hard grounder to end the frame.
There was no scoring in the fifth inning.
Wallace began the sixth, getting Amanda Case on a great running catch by O'Neal in center. Wallace walked the next two batters and it looked like Wallace might get out of the jam when left fielder DeLorean Taylor made a heads up play, covering third base on a soft grounder to third for the second out.
Columbia got back to back singles RBI by Kayla Floyd and Raven Goodman to make it 5-3 before Barnes called Harmon in from the bullpen. The freshman hurler got Barker to pop-out on a two-two pitch to end the inning.
The Tigerettes did not score in the seventh and they threw the leather on the Lady Lions in the bottom of the frame on three consecutive nice plays. Taylor made a nice grab of a hard liner in left for the first out, Osborne retreated behind the second base bag to snag a pop-up for the second out, and O'Neal chased down a long fly in center to end the contest.
The fiery Barnes was happy after the game when she said, "The keys to the victory were hitting the ball and making the most out what we got on base and our pitchers getting out of trouble in tough situations. Our defense has really come around and we are gaining confidence."