Long ball working for BA in 10-0 win over Columbia Academy
Published 9:00 am Saturday, August 12, 2023
Three home runs over two innings and a no-hit performance in the circle were the story of the game for Brookhaven Academy Thursday night as the Cougars got a 10-0 victory in five innings over the visitors from Columbia Academy.
Junior pitcher Ann Elise Duncan didn’t give up a hit for the home team.
A transfer from North Pike in her first season at BA, Duncan struck out five and walked zero batters. CA got one on base in the third when Duncan hit a batter and got two more runners on later in the game via errors, but never had a real scoring threat.
Holding a 1-0 lead after two complete innings, BA started to pull away in the bottom of the third when freshman Madelynn Lambert blasted a two-run home run.
The big hits kept coming in the bottom of the fourth when junior Annaston Poole hit a three-run home run to put the Cougars up 7-0. Later in the same inning, sophomore Morgan Chemin smoked a ball over the center field fence to give BA a 9-0 advantage.
The win moved Brookhaven Academy and head coach Lisa Covington to 9-2 on the season and 2-0 in MAIS District 3-5A.
Earlier in the week, BA kicked off district play with a 5-4 win in 10 innings over Parklane Academy on the road.
With Parklane dropping down from the 6A ranks due to reclassification, the thought was that they and BA would be two of the toughest teams in the district as the Pioneers have a strong softball tradition and the Cougars are two-time defending 5A state champs.
BA pounded out 11 hits on Tuesday and led 2-0 after four complete innings, only to see Parklane tie things up in the bottom half of the fifth.
Covington’s team went ahead 3-2 in the top of the seventh, but the Pioneers got a tying run to send the game to extra innings.
Lambert got BA going in the top of the 10th against Parklane with a leadoff single and then moved to second on a ground ball by junior Kensy Covington.
Both Lambert and Covington scored when Chemin hit a double on the first pitch she saw. Parklane scored one run in their at-bat in the 10th, but Duncan — pitching in relief of Covington — drew a groundout to end the game.
“It was a heck of a high school softball game,” said Covington about the win over Parklane. “We’ve only got one senior in Ainslee Jergins on our team and to see these younger girls stay locked in and battle for 10 innings, I was really proud of them. Giving your best effort from the first pitch until the last out, that’s the message we’ve been pushing to them every day.”
Covington is assisted by Scott Poole and Crystal Alexander.
The Cougars started the season just over two weeks ago with a 5-3 road win at Wayne Academy. They then split a pair of games at a tournament in Ellisville, beating Presbyterian Christian 15-0 and losing 4-0 to East Rankin Academy.
Abbigail Stevens, an East Rankin senior committed to next play at Mississippi State, no-hit the Cougars on that day.
The team then lost on the road at Copiah Academy by a 3-1 margin on July 31.
Since the calendar changed to August, BA has been as hot as the scorching sunlight that’s currently baking southwest Mississippi.
The win over Columbia Academy was the seventh straight for the team and BA will try to increase that streak next week when they host Cathedral School on Monday and Silliman Institute on Tuesday.
BA got nine hits against Columbia and 11 hits against Parklane.
On Saturday in a tournament hosted by Copiah Academy, Covington’s crew got 16 hits in a 12-0 win over Bayou Academy and 12 hits in an 8-0 drubbing of Simpson Academy.
The bats are white hot right now for the Cougars as opposing pitchers aren’t finding any easy outs in the lineups.
“We’ve been really hitting it well after starting out a little slow at the beginning of the year,” said Covington. “You can’t single one player out because we’ve been getting something from everyone lately. You can just look at the girls and see that they’re all bigger and stronger this year and that’s because of their hard work during the offseason.”
It was a run scored by Jergins on a single by sophomore Alayna Daigle that ended the game once BA went up 10-0 in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Daigle also scored the first run of the game for BA in the bottom of the first by stealing home.
Daigle, Poole and Lambert all two hits each for the Cougars against Columbia while Chemin, Duncan and Jergins had a hit each.
The depth of the BA pitching staff was on display in the win over Simpson on Saturday. Covington tossed two innings and gave up no hits. Duncan threw three innings and gave up one hit while striking out six and Lambert came in to throw the final inning while also not giving up a hit.
The team also had junior Maggie Rushing as another veteran pitcher, but she’s currently out for the time being with an injury.
“Elise was great tonight,” said Covington. “She threw strikes and kept Columbia off balance. She’s fit right in with this team.”
First pitch of the varsity game on Monday against Cathedral is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at BA.