GHS softball one game short of state tourney

Published 12:40 am Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Goshen softball team did not win the Class 2A, Area 5 tournament Wednesday, but the Lady Eagles made it within one game of the state tournament at the South Central Regional Tournament Friday and Saturday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

Goshen (19-11) was knocked out in the consolation championship game. They were one game from making the state tournament, as the winner and runner-up at the regional move on to the state tournament.

The Lady Eagles suffered a 3-1 loss to the No. 2 American Christian Lady Patriots (29-5) late Saturday nearly seven hours after American Christian handed Goshen a 14-0 beating in five innings.

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“It was a great ball game and we just left too many runners in scoring position,” GHS head coach Dee Hughes said. “Our girls wanted to go to state so bad and they played so hard. We had them 1-1 in the fifth, but they just got us in the sixth.”

The Lady Patriots scored two runs in the sixth to end the Lady Eagles’ season.

Kaitlin Thomas drove in pinch runner Caneshia Whatley for the lone Goshen run. Whatley was running for Rachael Senn who reached on a base hit.

Goshen knocked Horseshoe Bend (12-8) out of the tournament in the consolation semis, 6-2.

The Lady Eagles jumped on the Lady Generals early with three runs in the first inning.

“We just came out hitting in that game,” Hughes said.

Niyoka Slater walked to open the inning, Amanda Griggs singled and Alli Warrick plated Slater with a single. Senn doubled home Griggs and Warrick for the 3-0 lead.

Horseshoe Bend cut the lead to 3-1 in the first and 3-2 in the fourth, but Goshen scored one run in the sixth and two in the seventh to put the game away.

Senn singled and Samantha Roy brought her home with a single in the sixth. Slater walked and stole second base. She scored on a throwing error on the play. Senn singled and Thomas singled to score Senn for the 6-2 lead.

Senn was 3-for-4 in the contest.

American Christian knocked Goshen to the consolation bracket to the tune of 14-0 in the first game of the day Saturday morning. The Lady Eagles came back out and knocked Clay County out of the tournament with a 5-0 victory in the next game.

In the American Christian game the Lady Eagles managed only two hits and allowed 14 runs on 10 hits, but against Clay County, Goshen starting pitcher Warrick went the distance and struck out 15 batters in a four-hit shutout.

Goshen scored two runs in the third inning, two in the sixth and one in the seventh for the win.

Slater led the Lady Eagles by going 2-for-4 at the plate with an inside-the-park home run and two runs scored. Griggs also went 2-for-4 and added one run scored and one RBI.

Warrick was 3-for-4 at the dish when one run scored and one RBI. Thomas, Roy and Sidney Sullivan each had one hit. Thomas added one run scored and one RBI and Roy had one RBI.

The Lady Eagles beat Horseshoe Bend 3-1 in the first round on Friday.

“These young girls are so incredible,” Hughes said. “In area and out here today we were short some starters and even through disappointments they are not shaken and they don’t get rattled. They stepped up and played great.”

Goshen scored two runs in the first inning and one in the fifth for the win. Horseshoe Bend scored its lone run in the bottom of the sixth.

Slater walked to open the game and scored on an RBI-groundout from Griggs. Warrick walked and scored to give Goshen a 2-0 lead.

That is all Warrick would need in the circle for the Lady Eagles. She allowed one run on three hits, struck out eight batters and walked four.

“I don’t think Alli has ever wanted it more in her life,” Hughes said. “She made a diving catch on a bunt and she deserved the win. She is a hard worker and she has a lot of heart. And that attitude is spreading.”

The Lady Eagles went up 3-0 when Griggs scored on a wild pitch in the fifth. Horseshoe Bend scored its only run in the bottom of the sixth.

Goshen only had three hits in the game, but Horsheshoe Bend walked six Lady Eagles and Goshen came up with the hits when needed.

Tonobria Pugh, Warrick and Roy each had one hit.

Click here for a photo gallery of Regional action