Thursday, September 27, 2007
Lady Patriots best in north
The Marshall Academy fastpitch softball team made school history on Saturday.
For the first time since beginning its softball program in 2002 the Lady Patriots brought home a Mississippi Private School Association District I-II North AA championship trophy.
Hosted by Winston Academy in Louisville, the Lady Patriots began play on Wednesday, Sept. 19. After capturing the number one seed and first round bye by winning the District I-AA championship, the Lady Patriots faced the number three seed, Winston Academy.
In the 7-0 victory over Winston, the Lady Patriots once again brought in the heavy hitters. In the first inning Traci Rodgers hit a double, to be followed by an out-of-the-park, two-run homer by Heather Tomlinson.
Getting multiple hits in the victory were Courtney Gibson with two hits and a run-batted-in and Casey Gibson with two hits. Anna Roberts contributed a double, while Mandy Bolden, Lauren Alexander and Allie Kriss had a hit each. MA had 10 hits for the game.
Lauren Alexander carried the pitching load by allowing only one hit and striking out seven, while allowing no runs to cross the plate.
On Saturday, the Lady Patriots rolled into Louisville awaiting the winner of the Indianola/Leake game. As a result of that game, the Lady Patriots were set to face district rival Indianola Academy.
In a hard-fought pitchers’ duel, the Lady Patriots came out on top 2-0.
“I was so proud of Lauren (Alexander) and our defense behind her was amazing,” said Susan Rodgers, head coach of the Lady Patriots. “When Lauren talked to me earlier Saturday morning, she told me she was ready to play. Boy, she was ever ready.”
The junior pitcher racked up nine strikeouts, issued no walks, allowed no runs and gave up six hits.
“It was a fantastic show,” said Carlton Gibson, the Lady Patriots’ assistant and pitching coach.
Offensively, the Lady Patriots were held scoreless until the fourth inning. Rodgers and Heather Tomlinson both singled in the fourth and were moved around the bases by a sacrifice bunt from Courtney Gibson. Chelsey Gilliam’s double to the fence scored Rodgers and an error on a hit by Roberts scored Heather Tomlinson.
In the championship game, the Lady Patriots once again faced the Lady Colonels of Indianola, who had to battle their way out of the loser’s bracket.
The Lady Patriots’ four runs in the first inning proved to be all they would need to clinch the North AA crown.
Alexander led the Lady Patriots, going three of three from the plate.
Rodgers (one RBI), Heather Tomlinson, Roberts, Kriss (one RBI) and Casey Gibson had hits for the team as well. Gilliam and Courtney Gibson had an RBI each.
The Lady Patriots were set to face number four seed from the South AA, Bowling Green, La., on Wednesday of this week at 9 a.m. in the MPSA State Tournament at Ridgeland. Win or lose, they would play again on Wednesday. The second and final day of the tournament is scheduled for Monday, October 1.
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