PCA loses heartbreaker to Franklin, 13-12

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Kristen Mathes, of Porters Chapel Academy, left, reaches for the ball as Franklin’s Kelly Reed eases into second base during the Lady Eagles’ 13-12 loss in the first game of a doubleheader. PCA won the second game, 5-2. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

It took two extra innings to decide the winner of the Porters Chapel-Franklin Academy game and youth was finally served the Lady Cougars’ youth.

Franklin (5-7) used two freshmen pitchers, Kylie Berry and Sam Shipman, to outlast the Lady Eagles, 13-12, in the ninth inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Bazinsky Park.

“Our pitchers just threw more strikes than them. We had two pitchers and seven good innings played and two bad innings,” Lady Cougars coach Mike Kramer said. “They deserved to win and should have.”

PCA (8-7) fell to an early 3-0 deficit as the Lady Cougars scored one run in the first and two in the second without an RBI. But PCA stormed back in the bottom of the third, batting through the order to take a 4-3 lead. Betsy Bryan had two RBIs and Lindsey Webb had one.

Ashley Brown and Courtney Angel scored two more runs in the fourth for a 6-3 lead.

The Lady Cougars hit back with a run in the fifth and two in the seventh to take the game to extra innings with a 6-6 tie. Franklin scored five runs in the top of the eighth.

Down by five in the bottom of the eighth, the Lady Eagles appeared down and out.

Haley McWhorter was placed at second base according to the rules of the MPSA in an extra inning game, and Shipman walked four straight batters to bring in McWhorter and Kristen Mathes for two runs.

Webb, Ashley Johnson and Jessica Lord each got a hit and an RBI to tie the score at 11.

But with one out and the bases loaded, the runners ran on McWhorter’s infield pop fly and forced the third out at first base, ending the threat.

“Our young girls are starting to have confidence at the plate and are putting the ball in play,” Lady Eagles coach Kevin Griffin said. “We showed a lot more patience and didn’t give up.”

Brown scored three runs, Angel and Rutledge each had two hits and two runs and Bryan and Webb had two hits and two RBIs.

But it was the bottom of the order that helped keep the Lady Eagles in the game as Johnson collected two hits and an RBI and Lord had two hits.

“In my years coaching softball and basketball, I have never been more proud of a group of girls as I was of these girls,” Griffin said. “They never gave up.”

PCA 5, Franklin 2

The Lady Eagles (9-7) scored all five runs in the first two innings of the second game to gain redemption for the first loss.

Brown went 2-for-3 with two runs, Angel went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, Rutledge went 2-for-3 and Johnson went 2-for-2.

But it was the inexperienced defense that may have earned their wings in the second game, and helped propel the Lady Eagles to the win.

“We played really good and made only one error defensively,” Griffin said. “Just steady improvement.”