Thursday, August 28, 2008
Lady Patriots down MRA, Bayou
The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots softball team shined as they faced some elite competition last weekend in the Madison Ridgeland Academy College Coaches’ Exposure Tournament.
In the opening game of the five-team round robin, the Lady Patriots defeated Class AAA powerhouse and host MRA 5-3.
Freshman Chelsey Gilliam led the Lady Pats with a double, single and three runs-batted-in. Heather Tomlinson had a double and an RBI. Traci Rodgers also had a single and an RBI.
Lauren Alexander got the win on the mound, striking out six and allowing six hits.
In the second game, the Lady Patriots faced the defending Class A state champion, Bayou Academy. For the first time in four years, the Lady Patriots beat the Lady Colts 1-0.
Marshall got on the board early when Rodgers was driven home on a line-shot, stand-up double by Tomlinson.
Alexander got the win on the mound in the hard-fought pitcher’s duel.
The third game of the day found the Lady Pats facing the South AA state runner-up team, Franklin Academy. Time expired and the threat of rain forced the game to end in a 2-2 tie.
MA got hits from Alexander and Casey Gibson and a two-RBI double from seventh grader Robin Bryant.
On the mound, Alexander recorded four strikeouts and allowed four hits.
The fourth game against Pillow Academy was rained out.
Coach Susan Rodgers said she was very pleased and surprised by the play of her Lady Patriots.
“We have to play this caliber of competition to prepare for the state tournament,” Rodgers said. “I know the older girls who have played against these teams would be fine. I just didn’t know how the younger girls would respond. I thought they did surprisingly well.”
Earlier last week, Marshall won two district games – 2-0 over Kirk and 11-0 over Lee (Ark.) – and a non-district contest over Delta by a 2-1 tally.
Alexander struck out eight and gave up just one hit in the big victory at home over rival Kirk. Tomlinson led the offense with a double.
The Lady Pats had no trouble with the Lee Lady Cougars. Casey Gibson pitched a no-hitter. She struck out nine and issued two walks.
Alexander was the offensive sparkplug with three singles and a triple. Tomlinson had a homer and a single. Casey Gibson added two singles.
Alexander struck out 10 in the one-run win at North Delta.
Marshall had five hits to three hits for the Lady Green Wave.
The Lady Patriots (12-3) were scheduled to host Carroll on Monday of this week and then go to Lee (Clarksdale) Tuesday. They host North Delta Thursday at 4 p.m. Next Tuesday, Sept. 2, the MA girls travel to Indianola.
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