Pearl rips Vicksburg with 12-run inning

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Maybe they were resting on past success. Or, perhaps, looking ahead. Whatever the Vicksburg Missy Gators were doing Tuesday night, it certainly wasn’t playing their best.

Vicksburg committed seven errors, didn’t get a hit, and watched as Pearl paraded 16 batters to the plate during a 12-run fourth inning. It all added up to an embarrassing 16-0 loss for the Missy Gators at Bazinsky Park, their third in four games since beating archrival Warren Central last week.

“I’ve been very disappointed. We played well in our first game at Alexandria Saturday and then just kind of folded. That’s every conversation we’ve had after every game since then,” Vicksburg coach Amanda Yocum said. “It’s difficult to know the talent you have and see them play like they did against Warren Central, then play the exact opposite one week later.”

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Things went south in a hurry against Pearl (4-7). The first batter of the game reached on an error and the Missy Gators (5-4) committed two more in the first inning to spot the Lady Pirates a 4-0 lead.

Things went from bad to worse in the fourth inning, when the game really got out of hand. Another leadoff error on a bunt attempt started the 12-run rally that brought an early end to the game. Vicksburg had three errors, a passed ball and a wild pitch in the inning, while Pearl’s Carrie Phillips drove in five runs with a single and a double.

The big blow was another Missy Gator miscue. With the score 6-0 and no one out, Kaley Copeland laid down what should have been a sacrifice bunt. Vicksburg third baseman Sydney Bufkin fielded it and unleashed a high throw toward first that rolled all the way down the line and into the right field corner. Two runners scored and Copeland circled the bases to give Pearl a 9-0 lead.

Pearl went on to score six more runs before registering the second out of the inning.

“The bunt that turned into a home run elevated us,” Pearl coach Leigh Ann Purnell said. “Once we got a five- or six-run lead we started to settle in and hit the pitches we wanted instead of swinging at the first thing we saw.”

Phillips, who also pitched a four-inning no-hitter, finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs at the plate. In the circle, she allowed only a walk and a hit batter. Two other Missy Gators reached base on errors, but only one got past second base.

“We came off a couple losses Saturday and picked up right where we left off,” Yocum said. “We were not good defensively and giving a good team like that chances with errors is something you can’t do.”