Patriots end season with loss to Autauga

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Pike Lady Patriots’ season came to a close Saturday when they fell to the Autauga Academy Generals 4-3 in the AISA Class 3A State Tournament in Montgomery.

The Patriots finished the tournament in fourth place.

“The girls came out Saturday morning and played really hard and well,” said head coach Robert Rollan. “We had opportunities. We left six runners on base, which hurt us. We had hoped we were in position to drive in those runs, but it didn’t work out.”

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Samantha Yarbrough seven innings with one earned run, two hits and seven strikeouts.

The Patriots scored early in the first inning, when Danielle Brown doubled to centerfield and came around to score on a fielder’s choice by Jordan. They got on the board again in the third, when Bailey Rushing doubled up the middle to score Kayla Dendy and Yarbrough.

The Generals were able to get a run in the third and one in the sixth and entered the seventh inning trailing 3-2.

The Generals’ lead off batter reached in the seventh via a bunt and advanced to third on the second bunt attempt of the inning. With runners on second and third, the Generals laid down another bunt and scored two runs on an errant throw off the catcher’s head to score the winning run.

“You have to give them credit,” Rollan said. “They ran the bases hard and they didn’t quit. Our girls play hard we just came up a little short.”

Yarbrough was named to the 2016 AISA State Softball All tournament team for her efforts. Yarbrough pitched in all four tournament games for the Patriots.

“She is one of those girls on our team that everyone notices,” Rollan said. “She did a good job. She did things that we needed her to do. When you’re as good as she is, that is something you come to expect.”

With the season over, Rollan has the opportunity to look back and reflect on his first season as head coach of the Patriots.

“These girls did everything that we asked of them,” Rolland said. “They did things with a good attitude and work ethic. I enjoyed my first year. We have girls that love softball and love being a part of softball. That makes coaching easy.”

Rollan sees only improvement ahead.

“I told the girls the distance between us winning and losing, and I held my fingers up, is that much,” Rollan said. “It’s not far for us to get there. For us to get there, it’s going to take a tremendous amount of work. We have to be willing to put the work in.”