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ECHS posts 4 softball wins

By By Lori Dann
Advance Managing Editor
After a string of tough losses, the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils are back on track.
ECHS posted four wins in four days, sweeping Monroe County in a doubleheader Tuesday and then downing Crestview and W.S. Neal and Thursday and Friday, respectively.
In game one of the doubleheader at Monroe County, ECHS scored seven runs in the first inning on a double and a single by Fenetrias Lewis, a double Katie Lambert and singles by Melissa Jones, Leslie Presley and Tameka Brooks. The Lady Blue Devils added five runs in the second inning and eight in the third to take a 20-0 victory.
While the Lady Blue Devil offense was rolling, Jones was dominating opposing hitters. The junior pitcher tossed a no-hitter and struck out eight batters. In fact, she didn't allow a single ball past the infield and struck out the side in the first and third innings.
Offensive standouts in the contest were Brooks, who was 4-for-4 with a home run, five RBI and three runs; Lewis, 4-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and three runs; Jones, 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs; Gia Rodriguez, 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs; Shana McMillan, 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs; Hope Riley, 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run; Lambert, three runs; Rachel Garrett, two runs; and Presley, one run.
In the second game. ECHS scored eight runs in the first inning on a double by Brooks and singles by Presley, Jones, Taylor Pierce and Hannah Rigsby. They added six more runs in the second and one in the third en route to another shutout, this time by a 15-0 count.
Presley got the win on the mound, striking out five and allowing just one hit in the opening inning. She also struck out the side in the third.
Top hitters in that game included Brooks, who was 3-for-3 with four RBI and three runs scored; Pierce, 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run; Rigsby, 2-for-3 with two runs; Presley, 1-for-2 with two RBI and two runs; McMillan, 1-for-2 with two runs; Molly Malone, 1-for-2 with one RBI and one run; Riley, one RBI and one run; and Karen Tillery, one run.
The biggest win of the week came Thursday at Crestview where, after three scoreless innings, ECHS scored three runs in the top of the fourth. Jones did the rest of the work, allowing just one run in the sixth inning as the Lady Blue Devils held on for a 4-1 win.
Jones struck out eight batters and scattered six hits to earn the complete-game victory. She also helped herself at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and a run.
In the fourth-inning rally, the Lady Blue Devils got a one-out triple by Miller to get things started, followed by singles from Garrett and Natasha Porter. Following a walk to Lewis, Tillery also singled to round out the big hits in the inning.
Offensive leaders included Porter, who was 3-for-3; Lambert, 3-for-3 with an RBI; Garrett, 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run; Tillery, 2-for-3 with an RBI; McMillan, 2-for-4; Miller, 1-for-4 with a triple and a run; and Lewis, one run.
Defensively, the Lady Blue Devils turned two double plays, one in the first inning and another in the fourth.
On Friday night, ECHS scored five runs in the first inning and 10 in the second on its way to a 15-0 shutout of W.S. Neal.
Big hits in the first inning included a home run by Lewis to lead off the game, a double by Tillery and singles by McMillan and Brooks. In the second inning, ECHS got a three-run homer from Lewis, while Jones had a triple and a double and McMillan had a double and a single. Adding singles were Malone, Porter, Rigsby and Brooks.
Leading the offense in the game were Jones, who was 3-for-3 with two doubles, four RBI and three runs; McMillan, 3-for-3 with a double and three runs; Lewis, 2-for-2 with two home runs and four RBI; Brooks, 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs; Rigsby, 1-for-2 with three RBI and one run; Malone, 1-for-3 with an RBI and one run; Tillery, 1-for-3 with a double and one run; Porter, 1-for-2 with a run; and Miller, one run.
Jones was the winning pitcher, striking out five of the six batters she faced and getting the other to ground out to the shortstop. Tillery pitched the final inning, fanning two of the three batters she faced.
The Lady Blue Devils will be off this week for Spring Break and will return to action April 4 when they host Northview.