Tigerettes win, earn a holiday

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"If the girls play well today and win, I will give them Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off", said Tigerette head coach Holly Barnes before their contest versus Cascade Thursday.

They got their holiday and they earned it, taking down a hot Lady Champion team 6-1 at Maurice Hambrick Field in Lewisburg.

"They got their weekend off, they won't have to see me until Monday", Barnes smiled and said after the game. "We will get back to work Monday and get ready for the big district game versus Giles County on Tuesday."

The Lady Champions from Wartrace came into the game at 3-1, riding the wave of two consecutive perfect games by sophomore Leigha Carter, but the streak was quickly ended when McKenna Moffett slashed a single to centerfield to lead off the bottom of the first inning for the Tigerettes.

There was no scoring in the first inning, but Cascade broke through with the game's first run in the second when Kat Lohay managed a leadoff walk against Mieke Wallace, Lauren Claxton beat out an infield single, and two batters later, Lohay scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Fatima Murillo.

Marshall County quickly took the home field advantage, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second, banging out five hits in the inning. Wallace led off with an infield single to start the rally and was replaced by courtesy runner Whitney Byrd.After a sharp lineout by Stashia Osborn, Lauren Anderson ripped a gapper into left field that scored Byrd to tie the game. Anderson scored when Kwanza Pillow beat out an infield hit and the ball was thrown away by Cascade, putting Pillow on second.

Moffett made it 3-1 on her second hit of the game, gashing a hit straight back through the box to score Pillow and give the Tigerettes a two run lead.

Erin McBee led off third with a single to center for the Lady Champs and reached second on a fielder's choice. The defensive play of the game took place next when Wallace threw a pitch to the backstop that Moffett snatched up and fired to Brandie Jett at third to nail McBee, trying to advance.

After a walk to Tiffany Gibbs, Jett made another defensive gem, diving to the line to grab a hard smash by Mary Jett, jumping to her feet and throwing out the runner to end the inning.

The Tigerettes did not score in the third and freshman Kayla Harmon came in for MCHS in the top of the fourth and issued a leadoff walk, but Pillow made a nice play in right field when a she came in on a falling liner that hit the ground and threw out the runner at second base.

Harmon retired the next two Cascade batters to end the inning.

MCHS went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning. Cascade threatened again in the fifth, putting runners on first and second with two outs before Kaci Ezell scooped up a tough grounder at short and threw to Anderson at first for the third out.

Carter retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the fifth before Jett singled to right. Addricka O'Neal came to the plate and blasted the next pitch off the center field scoreboard to give the Tigerettes a 5-1 lead.

Wallace then doubled to left and scored on a big rip double to left by Osborn to make it 6-1.

Lohay led of the sixth with a single for the Lady Champs. The speedy O'Neal has made her mark as one of the best defensive players in the game with some saying that three quarters of the earth is covered by water and the other quarter by O'Neal. She did her thing on the next play when she raced in for a shoestring catch on a dropping liner by Claxton.

Harmon whiffed Lauren Jett and Osborn made a nice play at second, calling off the rest of the infield to snag a pop-up behind the pitcher's mound to end the frame.

The Tigerettes did not score in the bottom of the sixth and Harmon escaped a two out two on jam in the bottom of the seventh, getting Mary Jett on a fly-out to Pillow in right to end the game and keep the Tigerettes unblemished at 5-0 on the season.