Lady Panthers squeak past Pearl in region opener

Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

The Brookhaven Lady Panthers, down by 3-runs, rallied in the seventh inning to skin the Pearl Lady Pirates 6-5 in Region 4-5A softball action Thursday night at the Ole Brook softball complex.

     “This was a great win against a good opponent,” said Brookhaven coach Chad Walker.

     The Lady Panthers (6-2, 1-0) continue action Saturday as they host the Ole Brook Tournament, beginning at 10 a.m. The teams participating are Bogue Chitto, Florence and St. Aloysius.

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Brookhaven 6, Pearl 5

     Softball fans witnessed a tough divisional matchup against the Lady Pirates and Lady Panthers. They battled to an 2-all tie after four complete innings.

     In the fifth and sixth innings, Pearl managed to reclaim the lead and extend it to 5-2.

     In the bottom of the seventh, Brookhaven refused to give up. The Lady Panthers fought hard to capture the opening game of the region race with key hits from Ivy Smith and Shelby Peavey. Erica Bridwell fought off several pitches to earn a walk with no outs.

     Third baseman Taylor Murray continued to keep Ole Brook alive as she hit into a fielder’s choice. Pearl recorded their first out at home plate.

     Designated player Katherine Shell came to the plate with one out and smashed a 3-RBI double to right-center to tie the game at 5-all. Catcher Christen Benson managed to advance Shell over to third base on a sacrifice bunt.

     With two outs, first baseman Emily Freeman came to the plate with the winning run on third. Freeman had a 1-1 count. She managed to flag Shell home for the win on a passed ball.

     Senior Brooke Hosick tossed the win for Ole Brook, collecting four strikeouts and one walk. Carrie Phillips suffered the loss for Pearl with seven strikeouts and three walks.

     Shell was the offensive leader for the Lady Panthers with a double and two singles. Benson contributed a double and a single. Hitting safely were Erica Bridwell, Shelby Case, Hosick, Smith, Freeman and Peavey.

     “Our bats were asleep most the game, but managed to wake up in the seventh,” continue Walker. “I am really proud of Katherine Shell’s big hit that tied the game. Overall, the girls played really hard and I am extremely proud of their effort.”

     The Lady Pirates (5-6, 0-1) were directed by Phillips with three singles. Shelby Miller smashed two doubles. Noelle Arender provided a double and a single. Hannah Grace Emmons and Jamie Washington hit safely.

     “Brookhaven managed to capitalize on our mistakes to get the win,” said Pearl coach Leigh Ann Purnell. “We made too many stupid mistakes in the game and left too many runners on base. We cannot do those things and expect to win against a good team.”

     In JV action, Brookhaven escaped with a 4-2 victory over Pearl as Katherine Shell pitched the win with two strikeouts and three walks.

     Hannah Grace Emmons absorbed the loss for Pearl with four strikeouts and one walk.

     Mary Parker Jackson and Madison Case paced the Lady Panthers with a single apiece. Kaitlyn Harvey led the Lady Pirates with a single.