CHHS softball ends season

Published 10:15 am Friday, May 1, 2015

By Dan Smith

The Lady Trojans of Charles Henderson High earned a big 6-5 win over Eufaula in the first game of the Class 5A, Area 3 Tournament Thursday in Rehobeth, but experience and depth proved too strong later in the day as Rehobeth won the second game 9-1 and Eufaula bounced back to take the third game 10-0, ending the year for CHHS.

CHHS Head Coach Heather Mitchell has taken an extremely young Lady Trojan team that won only a handful of games in 2014 to a positive year of 16 wins in 2015.

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“Like I told the girls after the last game, it’s hard to put the entire season in a few short words,” Coach Mitchell said. “But for us, something we have talked a lot about is that we show grit, and that is something our girls did a lot this year. In the win against Eufaula our girls left everything they had on the field. For me as a coach that is all I can ask for. It was also a confidence booster for our girls, because we were never close to beating them in the regular season.”

In the first game against Eufaula CHHS took a 2-0 lead as Hannah Calhoun walked and Tucker Earles hit a two-run bomb over the center field fence.

CHHS added another run in the fourth to tie the score at 3-3 when Emma Kirkpatrick walked and later scored on an RBI single by Lindsey Fox.

Eufaula took a 5-3 advantage, but the Lady Trojans scored three more runs in the sixth inning to go up 6-5 as Fox reached on an error, Alley Stamey singled, Lakin Turner reached on a fielder’s choice, Calhoun walked to push in a run, Molly Kate Sanders singled to tie the game and Sidney Armstrong singled to drive in the eventual winning run with the 6-5 lead.

Sanders held Eufaula scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings to earn the complete-game win.

CHHS was led at the plate by Sanders, Armstrong, Earles, Kirkpatrick, Fox and Stamey with one hit each.

In the second game against Rehobeth, Earles was 2-for-3 while Fox also had a hit, and in the final game the Eufaula pitcher hurled a no-hitter.

“We never gave up,” said Coach Mitchell. “There was never a time our girls said, ‘We’re done,’ or ‘We quit.’ That is huge for us. Kelsey Gibson robbed a girl from Rehobeth of a home run with a great catch, and at the beginning of the season I don’t think any of our outfielders make that play. Tucker Earles also hit a home run in first game that was a two-run shot. Every girl contributed in some way, one way or another. There is not a better feeling as a coach to know every single girl had a part.

“Yeah, we did not advance to Regional, but from six or seven games won last year to a few games away from being .500, we got better. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. From last year to this year, we grew up on and off the field. That’s what I am most proud of. I can not wait for next year and give it another shot for what we have coming back. We have a great group of girls. I can not ask for a better group, and we also have great support from the parents and the people form Troy. That is a huge part of it, having that support. We are very blessed as a team to have that.”

CHHS finishes the season at 16-18, a huge leap forward from last season, and lose no players to graduation.

Of the 11 girls that dressed out and made the trip to Rehobeth today there were no seniors, one junior, three sophomores, five freshmen and two 8th graders.