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Eagles perfect after first day

In the first round of the AHSAA softball Super Regional, the Goshen Eagles came in looking to avenge last year’s disappointment and advance to the state tournament.

Even though the Eagles got off to a slow start against Thorsby, GHS still was able to rally when it mattered to get out of the first round victorious, beating the Rebels, 3-2.

“It’s always nice to get the jitters out of the way early,” head coach Dee Hughes said.

“I think our pitching was a little shaky to start, but Alli (Warrick) calmed down and was able to take control.”

Warrick pitched a complete game in the Eagles’ win, striking out seven while giving up just one run on three hits.

The Rebels were able to take advantage of some GHS miscues in the second inning when THS led the inning off with two consecutive hits, both of which came around to score thanks to a Fielder’s Choice and a Warrick wild pitch.

The Eagles struggled at the plate through the first couple innings.

Amanda Griggs was the only Eagle to reach base the first time through the line up, thanks to her hit in the first inning.

However, GHS would come alive.

The Eagles would get within on run in the fourth inning, and two innings later the Eagles would take the lead for good.

Shelby Vinson reached second base with a double and a batter later, crossed the plate to tie the game at 2-2, thanks to a Samantha Roy double.

Warrick was the next batter and like the previous two at bats, the junior would get on base.

The single was good enough to bring Roy home from second and with it, the game winning run.

“We had to make some adjustments to do,” Hughes said.

“We faced some slow pitching and it was hard for us to get used to, but in the end, we were able to come through and get the win.”

Both Griggs and Vinson finished 2-3 with a run scored while Roy and Warrick each finished 1-3 with an RBI.

After the Eagles barely got out of the first round, they made sure it would not be as close in the second.

GHS and Pickens County played each other in Friday’s nightcap, however, it would not be much of a game as the Eagles took care of business early and often.

GHS soared to a 10-0 win in five innings over the Tornados to stay in the winner’s bracket.

“We knew we didn’t hit well in the first game,” Hughes said. “The girls went to the cages (in between games) and tried to get ready.

“They knew they were going to see another slow pitcher and this time, they were ready.

“These girls really want to be in that championship game,” the coach added.

The Eagles scored four times in the first inning, highlighted by a Griggs two-RBI double.

In the second inning, it was Rachel Senn who got the Eagles flying, thanks to a two-run home run over the left field wall, which gave GHS a 6-0 lead.

The Eagles would score in each of the last two innings to secure the 10-run victory.

Like in the first game, Warrick was in the pitcher’s circle, and this time around took care of business.

She pitched three innings, only giving up one hit while striking out three.

Griggs took over for Warrick in the fourth and like her counterpart pitched well, giving up just one hit and striking out one.

PCHS only mustered two hits against the Eagle pair, while GHS had 11 hits.

While Hughes was impressed with how her team performed at the plate, the coach said she was more impressed with how her team performed in the field.

“I thought we played so much better defensively (in the second game).

“We were errorless and when you do that, you are going to win some ball games,” Hughes said.

Another big factor for the Eagles came on the base paths, where GHS’ aggressiveness led to six stolen basses.

“When we get ahead like we did tonight, I like to be aggressive and I thought our girls did a great job of putting pressure on the defense,” the coach said.

That pressure on Tornados’ defense forced several key errors, including the ninth and tenth runs of the night for the Eagles.

With the win, Goshen now advances to Saturday without a loss.

“The girls made a comment after (the PCHS) game,” Hughes said. “They really want to win this tournament – and they seem like they are ready.”

The Eagles will be in action again today at 11 a.m. For scores from all the games that took place on Friday, please see the Messenger’s website.