Tough extra-frame day for EA

Published 12:59 am Monday, April 17, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
What can Brown do for the Cougars?
He can deliver a five-strikeout, eight-inning pitching performance for the Escambia Academy Cougars baseball team against the Monroe Academy Volunteers April 13 in Canoe.
"Tyler pitched the whole game and he pitched well, but we just couldn't pull it out," EA head coach Mitch Hughes said.
Hughes said the plague that has haunted the team all year came back in the eighth inning with the game tied at 6-6.
"We played sound baseball for the most part," Hughes said. "But in the top of the eighth we made some mistakes and those errors hurt us."
The team made seven errors in the game.
"But the kids played hard and they were excited for the game," Hughes said. "I saw that competitive fire in their eyes today and that is a good thing."
The defensive effort of the Cougars was stellar in the outfield, with center fielder Bruce Smith and left fielder Ethan Brooks making many great plays in the game, Hughes said.
"We definitely have some athleticism on this team and when these guys saw the ball, they went after it with everything they had," Hughes said.
Hughes said the team hit the ball well. Dustin Hall scored two runs on the day. Cody Norton went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. John Brantley was 2-for-3 with a double a stolen base and three RBI.
The Cougars faced Fort Dale at home yesterday and the results will be in the Advance. EA's next game is tomorrow against Faith in Canoe at 4 p.m. and then they travel to Sparta for a game Tuesday.
In softball action
Stacey Gibbs led the Lady Cougars softball team to a 12-0 stomping of the Monroe Academy Lady Volunteers April 13 on their home diamond.
Gibbs pitched a complete game, allowing only one hit, walking no batters and striking out eight.
"I really can't say enough about Stacey," EA head coach Darrell Jackson said. "She was great on the mound for us. Monroe had only three base runners all game and two of them reached on an error."
Jackson said the team on the field for EA was a slightly different look team than in the past.
"I made some wholesale changes after a tough loss to Clarke Prep earlier in the week," he said. "And it was good to see these girls step up and produce for Lady Cougar softball. They gelled out there and played well and it is great to know you can have players come off the bench and play like that."
One girl in particular has caught Jackson's eye.
"Katie Smith has impressed me with her style of play," Jackson said. "She is definitely part of the future of EA, along with the rest of these underclassmen."
Malori McGhee and Courtney Cooper, both freshmen, received playing time because of these changes and Jackson said he was pleased with how they responded.
At the plate the Lady Cougars scored five runs in the first inning, three in the second and four in the fifth to end the game due to the mercy rule.
Holly Harrison was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI, Smith was 1-for-1 and Cynthia Allen was 1-for-3 with a two RBI-triple.
On Monday the Lady Cougars faced Clarke Prep and suffered a 10-1 defeat.
"It was a humiliating loss for our team," Jackson said. "Our bats were stifled and we managed only two hits all game."
Lori Bonds and Harrison each grabbed one hit. Harrison laced a triple in the fifth inning and scored on a fielder's choice for the Lady Cougars lone run.
Jackson said the key to the loss was the eight errors committed by EA, and he said that was what brought the changes to the lineup for the Monroe game.
Gibbs was saddled with the loss, allowing 10 hits and striking out seven batters.
The Lady Cougars faced Fort Dale yesterday and the results will be in the Advance. They host Faith tomorrow at 4 p.m. and travel to Sparta Tuesday.

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