ECHS softball picks up area win

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Escambia County High School Lady Blue Devils’ softball team used good pitching and dominating defense to beat area foe UMS-Wright 3-1 Monday.

ECHS pitcher Kaylee Cox, who pitched a complete seven innings and gave up no earned runs, allowed two Lady Bulldogs on base in the top of the seventh. The pressure of the situation prompted a mound visit from coach Darryl Otwell, who told her all the pressure was on the visitors.

“We’ve lost a lot of close games this year because we’ve had a lot of players try to do too much,” he said. “She was feeling the pressure so I told her to calm down. I said ‘this is your game, you’ve worked too hard to let it slip away.’”

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He said the sophomore hurler did a “phenomenal” job on the mound. He also commended the defense.

“There were a lot of great plays today,” he said.

Although things may have gotten close in later innings, Cox only allowed the Lady Bulldogs a single in the top of the first before ending the frame.

Ychele Walker was walked to leadoff the home half before being driven home on a triple by Jasmine Ireland that bounced off the fence. ECHS took a quick 1-0 lead.

Cox hit a foul pop that stayed was caught, but allowed Ireland to score from third for the 2-0 lead.

Taylor Hill doubled during the next at-bat and Ynetta Craft was hit by a pitch, but both were stranded when Heather Davis struck out.

Cox allowed another single, but struck out a batter to end the threat in the top of the second.

The ECHS side of Searria Bullin, Ashleigh Simpkins and Walker were retired in order in the bottom of the inning.

The Lady Bulldogs were unable to score in the top of the third.

Tristen Boothe singled to lead off the bottom half of the inning before Ireland struck out. Boothe stole second before Cox struck out. A two-out single by Hill scored Boothe to give ECHS a 3-0 advantage.

UMS-Wright was held scoreless again in the top of the fourth.

Craft doubled to lead things off in the bottom of the fourth, but Davis struck out during the next at-bat and Bullin was thrown out at first. Walker was thrown out at first to end the threat.

The Lady Bulldogs got their only score of the game in the top of the fifth inning after a two-out single and double. A lineout to short ended the threat.

Ireland hit a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth and Cox was hit by a pitch. Both runners were stranded when Hill struck out.

Cox retired the Lady Bulldogs’ side in order in the top of the sixth and ECHS’ side was retired in the bottom half.

A walk and a single allowed two UMS-Wright runners on base with no outs in the top of the seventh. A fielder’s choice gave the Lady Devils one out, but moved a Lady Bulldog runner to third. Cox then struck out the final two batters to end the Egame.

ECHS will celebrate senior night Thursday when they host Red Level at 4 p.m.