PLAS Season Comes to End
In a grueling two-day tournament, Pike Liberal Arts softball lost to Lee-Scott Academy 2-1 to end their season at the AISA AAA State Tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery, Ala.
The game delivered just what PLAS Head Coach Mendy Avant said it would, “a real good game to watch.”
Kailee Taylor took the mound once again for the Patriots with eight strikeouts and gave up only five hits, following a 13 strikeout performance the night before.
“Kailee pitched an outstanding game,” said Coach Avant. “She was a little sore after yesterday but still carried us today.
Taylor, just an eighth grader, is one of the reasons the coaching staff has a positive outlook on next season already.
“As an eighth grader, Kailee played like a senior,” said Coach Avant.
The Patriots struggled to get the bats going all day.
Rebecca Farror scored the lone run for the Lady Patriots on a Shelby Broadway single up the third base line in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead.
Sara Richburg was 2-for-3 at the plate with a single and double.
Lee-Scott’s first run came on a wild pitch from Taylor that allowed the runner to come in from third.
The score stay tied up until the seventh inning mainly due to solid defense and pitching on both sides.
“Both teams were pitching really well,” Coach Avant said. “They really made us work for it.”
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Lee-Scott managed to squeeze out a single despite a diving effort by Patriot second baseman, Josie Griffen.
After Lee-Scott’s Morgan Whitman stole second to put a runner in scoring position the scene was set up for a last minute drama.
Taylor was able to strike out two in a row to get within one out of extra innings.
Lee-Scott’s Hannah Baker hit a walk-off single to center to bring in the winning run and keep their championship hopes alive.
With the loss, PLAS season ends short of their hopes but with an impressive 21-8 record.
“When you’ve got five seniors and then mostly eighth graders there’s a big age difference and usually conflict,” Coach Avant notes. “But this team started to gel and it was our seniors that turned us into a team and carried us this far.”
Despite losing those five seniors, the staff was real pleased with this team’s work and looking ahead to big things.
“We’re real positive looking ahead to next year,” said Coach Avant. “We’re in a real tough region so we’ve got to get ready for summer workouts and conditioning and go at it again next year.”