Lady Patriots split on first day of Jonah McWaters Tournament

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pike Liberal needed just three outs to cap off a perfect start to the Jonah McWaters Tournament, but couldn’t close out the Tuscaloosa Academy Lady Knights.

Tuscaloosa took advantage of two Pike mistakes in the bottom of the fourth inning to plate three runs and win 5-4.

Lady Patriot head coach Allie Park said her team played well for three innings.

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“KT (Kailee Taylor) got a clutch hit, as did Ellie (Barron) for us,” said Park. “We led it 4-2 there, and had a chance to put it away, but there in the last inning we didn’t pull through.”

Taylor ripped a line drive to right that brought home a run. On the play, the Tuscaloosa right fielder misplayed the ball, and allowed Taylor to motor all the way around to give Pike a two-run lead headed to the final inning.

In the first game of the day, Shelby Baggett pitched a shutout against Abbeville Christian, as the Lady Pats cruised to an 8-0 win over the Lady Generals.

Pike has given up late leads to Macon-East and Tuscaloosa, two of the state’s top teams, in the last week.

“Our girls know they should’ve beaten both of them this week,” said Park. “They are upset, and as a coach that is what you want to see. They care about losing, and want to get better.”

Pike will try to stave off elimination on Friday at 4 p.m.