Softball season off and running
Published 10:42 am Monday, August 6, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
A dramatic last-inning rally propelled the LaGrange Lady Grangers to a 5-4 victory over Callaway on a scorching Saturday afternoon in the final game of the Hope for a Day Challenge.
Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning at Granger Park, LaGrange tied it on a clutch two-out triple by Jacee Marable.
Two batters later, freshman Macee Stone stepped to the plate, and she drove the ball into right field for a game-winning single.
LaGrange, which beat Troup 13-5 in the day’s first game, finished with a 2-0 record, while Callaway went 1-1.
Troup lost both of its games.
Callaway appeared to be on the verge of going unbeaten on the day after scoring a run in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-3 lead.
That’s the way it remained until the Lady Grangers found a way to win it in their final at-bat.
Katelynn Mobley was hit by a pitch leading off, but Callaway’s Oeisha Jenkins retired the next two batters.
With the game on the line, Marable drove the ball to the left-field fence, and pinch-runner Kirsten Williams scored all the way from first base to tie it.
After Zykeria Brewer walked, Stone came to bat with runners on first and third, and her RBI hit gave LaGrange the win.
“I was trying to stay calm, and just hit it,” Stone said.
That was part of a big day for Stone, who not only had five hits, but she was also the winning pitcher in both games.
In a 13-5 win over Troup, Stone pitched the five-inning complete game, and she threw two innings of relief against Callaway.
“She’s one of those that she wants the ball,” LaGrange head coach Gabby Heath said. “She’s confident, and she wants to be in that position, and she did a great job.”
Marable also got it done for LaGrange.
She had three hits and four RBIs against Troup, and she had two more hits against Callaway, including the critical one in the seventh inning that tie it.
“She had a great day today,” Heath said. “She contributed a lot offensively.”
Callaway coach Robyn McCann felt it was a successful day for her team, despite the tough way the LaGrange ended.
Callaway beat Troup 15-12 in a marathon game, and after a short break, it returned to the field and nearly beat LaGrange.
“I’m thrilled with them. I wish we would have had the win, but I’m so proud of them,” McCann said. “We pulled together today. They worked hard.”
Troup started quickly with three runs in the top of the first inning with Skye Loftin delivering a two-run home run, but it was unable to keep pace with LaGrange.
LaGrange got two runs back in the bottom of the first, and it exploded for six runs in the second inning to take a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Sophomore Jacee Marable led LaGrange’s offensive effort with three hits and four RBIs, and Macee Stone and Hannah Karcher each had three hits and an RBI.
Abby Vanhoose had two hits and three RBIs, Destiny Fitzpatrick and Kadaysha Griffin each had a hit and an RBI, Katelynn Mobley walked twice and drove in a run, and Madison Dennis walked and scored a run.
For Troup, Loftin led the way with two hits, including her two-run blast in the first inning.
Madison McCartney also had two hits for Troup, Lauren Brooks had a hit and an RBI, and leadoff hitter Kayla Lane had a hit with a run scored.
Stone started and pitched the full five innings for LaGrange, giving up five earned runs on six hits.
Avery Pearson went the distance for Troup.
Troup scored eight runs in top of the third to seize the lead, but it was Callaway rallying for the 15-12 victory.
In a back-and-forth game, Troup led 8-3 after its third-inning outburst, but Callaway answered to take a 12-9 lead through five innings.
Troup got within one on a two-run double by Emilee Johnson in the top of the sixth, and Callaway scored the game’s final three runs.
Jasmine Dukes hit a solo home run for Callaway in the first inning, and she finished with two hits.
Oeisha Jenkins had three doubles, and leadoff hitter Leijorey Sanders had three hits and three RBIs.
Lindsay Cofield had two hits, Aaliyah Morman had a hit and two walks, Lydia Bartlett had a hit, and Kourtney Grier was on base three times with a pair of runs scored.
Troup banged out 13 hits, and leadoff hitter Kayla Lane had two of them, including a double, with an RBI.
Olivia McInvale had three hits with two runs scored, Emilee Johnson had two hits, two RBIs and three runs scored, and Madison McCartney had two hits and an RBI.
Hadleigh Livingston and Mackenzie Miller each had a hit and an RBI, Lauren Brooks and Avery Pearson had one hit apiece, Skye Loftin had an RBI, and Lexi Parker walked and scored a run.
Both teams used two pitchers.
For Callaway, Oeisha Jenkins started and pitched 5 1/3 innings and was the winning pitcher, and Alexus Furgerson threw the final 1 2/3 innings.
Mackenzie Miller started for Troup and worked 4 2/3 innings, and Avery Pearson pitched the last 1 1/3 innings.
Callaway tied it with a run in the top of the fifth, and it added another run in the sixth inning to grab a one-run lead.
Callaway was one out away from making that slim lead stand up, but LaGrange’s two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh won it.
Jacee Marable and Macee Stone, the seventh-inning heroes, each had two hits and an RBI for LaGrange.
It was Marable’s triple that tied it in the seventh inning, and Stone won it with her two-out hit.
Katelynn Mobley also had a productive game for LaGrange with two hits and an RBI, and Hannah Karcher had a hit and an RBI.
Zykeria Brewer and Madison Dennis also had hits for LaGrange, and Kirsten Williams scored two runs as a pinch runner.
For Callaway, Leijorey Sanders had two hits and an RBI, Lydia Bartlett had a hit and an RBI, Lindsay Cofield had a double, and Jasmine Dukes, Natalee Waddell and Alora Vetsavong each had a hit.
Oeisha Jenkins had an RBI, and Kourtney Grier and Laci Pike each scored a run.
Hannah Karcher started for LaGrange and worked the first five innings, and Macee Stone threw two scoreless innings to finish it.
Jasmine Dukes started and pitched the first 2 ½ innings for Callaway before she was relieved by Oesiha Jenkins.
Even though she threw more than 100 pitches in the earlier game against Troup, Jenkins worked the final 4 1/3 innings against LaGrange.
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