Baseball, softball in full swing

Published 5:09 am Monday, March 7, 2005

By Staff
Tim Cottrell
In the true spirit of the day the Michael Jackson trial began, the Escambia County Blue Devils and T.R. Miller Tigers had a "Thriller" night Tuesday.
The Tigers won 9-8 in an extra inning slugfest in Brewton.
"We played a good game overall," said Blue Devil head coach Keith Nall. "We made too many mistakes defensively. If we will just cut down on the number of errors, we will begin to win a lot of games."
ECHS began the game by scoring two runs in the top of the first, but T.R. Miller answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. ECHS took the lead back in the second, scoring one run. Both teams notched three runs in the third, and T.R. Miller took the lead with a two-run bottom-half of the fourth inning. ECHS tied the game again in the fifth inning, scoring one run. Both teams notched a run in the six, and the seventh inning was the first scoreless inning of the day. The game went to extra innings and T.R. Miller scored with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.
"We swung the bats real well," Nall said. "We had ten hits with several extra-base hits. I was pleased with the way we kept battling back. It was back and forth the whole game. We had our chances to win, but just couldn't get it done."
Johnathon McNeil pitched seven innings for the Blue Devils, giving up ten hits and eight runs, only two of which were earned. He struck out eight and only walked one. Skylar Rolin picked up the loss, pitching two-thirds of an inning in the decisive eighth. He gave up two hits, a walk, and an earned run.
Darius English lead the Blue Devil offensive attack, batting 3-5 with two runs, an RBI and a home run. Chris Graham went 1-4 for the Blue Devils with an RBI and a double. Alvin Simmons was 2-4 with two runs, an RBI and a double; and Brian Johnson was 2-4 with a run, three RBI and a home run.
"We took a few steps forward with this game," Nall said. "We just need to keep improving especially on the defensive side of the game."
The Blue Devils took on Foley High School Saturday in Foley, but that game was incomplete at press time.
Escambia County 5, Jay 3
The Escambia County Lady Devils started hot and held off a late Jay Lady Royal rally to improve to 3-1 on the season.
"(Our) bats started off hot," Lady Devils coach Jeff Haney said. "The heart of our lineup did a good job. We cooled off in the late innings, but we played good defense. They had the bases loaded three times and all three times we held them to one run."
Morgan Marsh again pitched the distance for the Lady Devils, allowing three runs and striking out three.
Tamaniek McGhee was 2-4 for the Lady Devils, scoring two runs. Samantha Smith was 2-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, Heather White was 3-3 and drove in one run. Leslie Lyons also scored a run for the Lady Devils.
Haney was encouraged with the way his team was playing.
"Its been a gradual growth," Haney said. "We're playing more as a team. We only had three weeks to practice and before our first game, and now we've had about six weeks of practice. We're seeing the ball better, hitting the ball better, and fielding the ball better. We're coming together as a team. Now we just hope we can keep getting better and not peak out early."
The Lady Devils took on the Lady Aggies of Jackson Friday afternoon in Atmore, but that game was incomplete at press time.
Catholic 4, Northview 0
Northview Lady Chiefs softball head coach Sammy Day may want to ask the umpires to brush off the plate.
The Lady Chiefs suffered their third defeat in as many games this season, all by shutout, in a contest Tuesday afternoon against Pensacola Catholic High School by a final score of 4-0.
"We put the ball in play Tuesday," Day said Friday. "We didn't strike out but three times. I told them as long as they hit the ball hard the hits will come."
Catholic scored two runs in the second inning, one in the third, and one in the fifth to provide the winning margin.
Day said his team was not losing faith.
"It'll turn around," he said. "We're working hard in practice. We work on hitting every day. We've had a few errors lately, so we've worked on defense this week. But we work more on hitting than we do on anything else."
Cassie Godwin pitched all seven innings for the Lady Chiefs, giving up two earned runs while allowing only five hits and striking out ten.
Godwin also lead the Lady Chiefs at the plate, going 2-3. Amber Cutts and Darby Langhorn both went 1-3 from the plate. All four hits the Lady Chiefs tallied were singles.
"You're not going to win many games like that," Day said.
Despite the tough start, Day was still optimistic about his team's chances the rest of the way.
"We have our first district game Friday (March 11) against Baker," Day said. "We're working hard and we'll be all right."
Due to testing, Northview's last game was Tuesday and they will not play again until they host Baker Friday.

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