August 8, 2013
Lady Pats win
opener by 10 runs
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy softball team is off to a strong start.
The Lady Patriots beat North Delta to open the season at home and then finished as runners-up in the Kirk Tournament last weekend.
MA connected for 14 hits in an 11-1 rout of the Lady Green Waves Thursday.
Maura Autry, Kat Moore and Darcie Gibson led the offense, each going three for four from the plate.
Also picking up hits were Alexis McGreger, Alaken McNeer, Arin Leigh Valentine and Erin Lomenick. McNeer connected for her first-ever home run, a blast over the left-field fence.
Gibson got the start in the circle – pitching four innings and giving up three hits and one run. McNeer threw two innings in relief, giving up one hit.
At the Kirk Tournament Friday night, the Lady Pats fell 13-1 to Bayou Academy in game one.
The MA bats, hot the day before, cooled down as the team could only muster four hits against the Lady Colts. Six errors also contributed to a long night for Marshall.
McNeer pitched all four innings.
“When you lose the first game of a double-elimination tournament, you know it will be a long day fighting through the losers’ bracket,” coach Carlton Gibson said.
But fight is just what the Lady Patriots did.
On Saturday morning, MA knocked off Heritage Academy 5-0.
Gibson pitched the entire five innings. She gave up three hits and struck out five.
The big stick came from Hayleigh Mason, who was two for three with three runs-batted-in. Picking up one hit each for Marshall were Moore, McGreger, Autry, Hailey McMinn, Valentine and Lomenick.
Next up Saturday, the Lady Patriots downed Pillow 7-4.
“We just kept letting them hang around,” Coach Gibson said.
McNeer started in the circle and earned the win. She pitched three innings, giving up five hits and four runs and striking out one. Gibson tossed in relief for the save. She had three strikeouts in two innings of work.
Moore, McGreger and Mason powered the offense as the three combined for seven hits.
MA continued to move toward the tournament title game with a 3-0 win over Carroll Academy.
The Lady Rebels, like the Lady Pats, moved down to Class A this season.
“They will be serious competition for us in the North,” Coach Gibson said.
Moore and Gibson were each two of three at the plate, while Mason, McNeer, Autry and Lomenick each picked up a hit.
Gibson pitched a complete six innings. She gave up only two hits and fanned four.
The Marshall girls completed their run through the losers’ bracket Saturday with a 13-1 blowout of the host school, Kirk Academy.
McNeer threw the complete four innings, giving up just two hits.
Getting two hits each for the Lady Patriots were Moore, Gibson, Mason, McNeer, Autry and McMinn.
For MA’s fifth game of the day, it had fought its way back to the championship game to face Bayou again.
“Our girls were about out of gas, but they were determined to give more effort than in the game Friday night,” Coach Gibson said.
The Lady Pats batted first and scored five runs in the top of the first, but they ran out of steam after that and lost 11-5.
McNeer pitched two innings and Gibson one.
“We had our chances for the game to be much closer but costly errors once again hurt us,” Coach Gibson said. “Bayou is a very good team and one of the best hitting teams we will see all year. You cannot give a good team extra outs and not expect it to hurt you.”
Marshall’s record went to 5-2 after week one of the season.
“The girls battled all day in the heat Saturday to make it to the championship and we were very proud of their effort,” he said. “We can only get better and we are excited about how our team is improving.”
The Lady Patriots hosted District 1-A foes Marvell (Ark.) and Lee (Ark.) Monday and Tuesday, respectively. They will play in the North Delta Round Robin Saturday, travel to district opponent DeSoto next Monday, Aug. 12, and host Magnolia Heights next Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 4 p.m.
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