Patriots secure No.2 seed

Published 10:25 pm Friday, April 27, 2018

The Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots hosted the softball regionals on Friday and split their two games. After beating Hooper 15-4, the Patriots fell to the Monroe Academy Volunteers 7-3.

The Monroe Volunteers scored in each of the first five innings and held off rally attempts in the final two innings.

Pike Lib went to bat first and immediately found the score column when leadoff batter Morgan Bundy hit an inside-the-park homerun into the right field corner.

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The Patriots then loaded the bases with one out but only got one run out of it on a fielder’s choice.

Monroe was able to respond with a run in the bottom half of the inning when Emma Dunnam drove in Avery Barnes, who reached on a walk.

The Patriots failed to move its one baserunner in the top of the second and the Volunteers were able to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.

Monroe manufactured the run in small ball fashion, with starting pitcher Jessie Steadman stealing second after hitting a single and advancing to third on a bunt. She was knocked in by a Ruth Dees single.

To start the third, Pike Lib loaded the bases with zero outs but were unable to plate a run.

Monroe got a double play to record the first two outs, catching a shallow right field pop up and beating the lead runner attempting to tag up at home. Mallory Clifton then struck out and the Volunteers returned to the plate.

In the bottom of the third, Monroe worked three singles around a strikeout to load the bases themselves with one out. After a force out at the plate, Steadman drove in Dunnam with a single to give the Volunteers a 3-2 lead.

The Patriots were only to put one runner on with starting pitcher Dannah Dawson’s two out single in the fourth inning.

In the bottom half, Dawson forced a flyout before Avery Barnes hit a one out triple to give Monroe a scoring threat.

Kiley Brantley then reached on an error, scoring Barnes and increasing the Volunteer lead to 4-2.

The Patriots went quietly in the fifth, only sending three batters to the plate.

After scoring a run in each inning up to the fifth, Monroe grabbed some insurance and plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth. A two run triple by Barnes and an RBI single by Brantley gave them a 7-2 lead heading into the sixth.

Pike Lib put its rally caps on to start the sixth with Maggie Phelps hitting a leadoff double and later stealing third on a wild pitch. A strikeout and a fly out held Phelps on base before Ashelyn Atwell drove her in with a single.

Atwell didn’t spend long on first as the next batter struck out to retire the side.

Bundy took the mound in the bottom of the sixth in relief and worked a quick three up-three down half-inning ahead of the Patriots final chance at the plate.

With two outs in the seventh, Katelyn Dendy hit a single and was followed by a Grace Rushing single. The Patriots could not continue its rally, though, as Phelps grounded out to end the game.