ECHS fights elimination

Published 5:36 pm Saturday, May 5, 2012

Escambia County Lady Blue Devil Lexi Daughtry rips a hit against the UMS-Wright Lady Bulldogs in a loss at Poarch on April 12. The Lady Blue Devils are playing in their area tournament this week.

Facing season-ending elimination Tuesday night proved to be a motivator for the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils in their area tournament at UMS-Wright in Mobile.

In their second game of the tournament, the Lady Blue Devils took on the B.C. Rain Lady Raiders – following a tournament-opening loss  to the Saraland Lady Spartans – looking to guarantee themselves one more game.

The Lady Blue Devils showed they had some gas left in the contest dominating at the plate to earn a 21-6 victory.

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The contest was closed out by an eight-run inning in the top of the third that gave ECHS the runs necessary for a 15-run mercy rule.

In the inning, third baseman Kaylee Cox (2-for-4, 2R, 2RBI) had the big hit ripping a double that scored teammates Tristen Boothe (2-for-3, 3B, 2B, 3R) and Jasmine Ireland (3-for-3, 3B, 2B, 3R). Cox was then knocked in by Y-netta Craft (2-for-3, 3R, RBI) to give ECHS a 21-5 lead.

The Lady Raiders facing a mountain to climb in terms of a rally could only gain one run in the bottom of the inning ending the game at 21-6.

Getting the win was a good refresher for the Lady Blue Devils after two weeks off and then the first loss of the tournament, ECHS Head Softball Coach Darryl Otwell said.

“B.C. Rain was a good game for us to bounce back with after we lost to Saraland in our first game,” he said. “They are a team that is in the works. They hit the ball well, but I’m glad we were able to get a win and keep our season going.”

Early in the game, it looked as if the teams would be in a tight battle with the score knotted at 3 following the first inning.

Escambia County took over in the top of the second though with the bats coming alive including triples from Boothe and Ireland and a double by Craft. The hot sticks helped the Lady Blue Devils pull in front 13-3.

B.C. Rain fell off the pace in their turn at the plate only putting two runs on the scoreboard with the Lady Devils holding an eight-run lead moving into their game-ending third inning.

With the win, the Lady Blue Devils will face the loser of the UMS-Wright/Saraland match up.

Fighting off elimination in another game will be a tough task for the Lady Devils , Otwell said.

“Facing elimination in the next game is always tough,” he said. “You feel the pressure throughout the game, but as a coach with such a young group, we have to be focused on doing things right. We have to get the key outs and play defense like we did early in the season.”

Saraland 8, ECHS 2
A two-week layoff showed its effects on the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils in their opening game of the Class 4A Area 1 Tournament at UMS-Wright in Mobile.

The Lady Blue Devils held a 2-0 lead for a majority of the game, but fell behind in the fifth inning eventually losing 8-2 to the Lady Spartans.

Holding a two-run lead entering the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Blue Devils gave up three runs to Saraland, who turned around and scored five more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn the six-run win.

Escambia County’s early lead came through a first inning-run scored by Jasmine Ireland (1-for-4, R) and a run in the second inning from Lexi Daughtry (1-for-3, R).