Columbia Academy outlasts Lady Bulldogs

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Cornersville right fielder Kelsey Wortham makes a running catch on a fly ball by Columbia Academy's Shelby Cummins in the top of the second inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Although they put up a tough fight, the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs missed a chance to capture the District 11-A regular season championship on Monday night when they lost 16-8 in 10 innings to first place Columbia Academy at home.

After the two teams battled to a 7-7 tie through the first nine innings of play, CA (17-12-1, 9-1 District) blew the game open in the top of the 10th by pushing across nine runs in the frame to seize a 16-7 advantage en route to claiming their second straight regular season District title.

Still in second

Despite Monday's loss, Cornersville will still be the second seed in the upcoming District 11-A tournament.

"We had some missed opportunities at the plate and made a couple of costly errors in the field that cost us tonight," said CHS coach Eric Crabtree. "I was pleased with the way that the girls fought though. We'll see them again this season."

Bolstered by their 10th inning explosion, Columbia Academy finished with 25 hits overall. Leadoff hitter Sabrina Gilliam helped set the table for CA's offense by going 6-for-7 with a double, a triple, 3 RBI, and five runs scored. Kristen Jones also notched five hits and 5 RBI, while Anna Katherine White added four hits and 4 RBI.

Cornersville starting pitcher Mary Taylor Hickman simply ran out of gas late in the contest and suffered the loss after allowing 13 runs in nine plus innings of work.

Big hitting night

Cornersville second baseman Hannah Singleton throws out Columbia Academy's Miranda Goats at first base in the top of the sixth inning.

The Lady Bulldogs (9-6, 7-2 District), meanwhile, pounded out 15 hits against Columbia Academy starting pitcher Shelby Cummins. Hickman (2 RBI) and Carson Coble (1 RBI) each tallied three hits to lead Cornersville at the plate with Hickman belting her second homerun of the year. Miranda Cooksey (3 RBI), Hannah Singleton (1 RBI), Kelsey Wortham, and Kirsten Young added two hits apiece for CHS as well, while Samantha Prosser had a hit and a RBI.

Cummins retired Cornersville in order in the first inning, but the Lady Bulldogs plated two runs in the bottom of the second on the strength of a Coble double, an infield single by Wortham, a Cooksey RBI single, and a sacrifice fly by Prosser to take a 2-0 lead.

Cornersville's lead proved to be short lived, as Jones cranked a three-run homer in the top of the third to put CA up 3-2 before Columbia Academy scored two more runs in the fifth inning on a White RBI double and a RBI single by Sydney Sproul to open up a 5-2 advantage.

Back in front

The Lady Bulldogs battled back in the bottom of the fifth and pushed across four runs in the frame with the help of a solo homerun by Hickman, a Coble RBI single, and a two-run single by Cooksey to claim a 6-5 lead.

After Columbia Academy knotted the contest at 6-6 in the top of the sixth on a RBI bloop single by Jones, both teams failed to convert on scoring opportunities in the seventh inning.

CA then grabbed a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth on a RBI single by Jones, but Cornersville retied the game at 7-7 in the bottom half of the frame when Young scored on a RBI single by Singleton after belting a leadoff single and advancing to third on a passed ball and a Hickman single.

Run explosion

Following a scoreless ninth inning, Columbia Academy hit the Lady Bulldogs with a haymaker in the top of the 10th and crossed home plate nine times in the frame behind a RBI single by Gilliam, a White three-run homer, a RBI single by Cummins, a Turner RBI double, a two-run single by Gilliam, and an error to forge a 16-7 lead.

The Lady Bulldogs were unable to get up off the canvas, as they tallied just one run in the bottom of the 10th on a RBI single by Hickman for the 16-8 final.