Flashes extinguish Flames

Published 12:27 pm Thursday, March 8, 2012

A five-run rally, all with two outs, lifted St. Aloysius past University Christian 10-7 Wednesday night at Bazinsky Park.

The win keeps the Lady Flashes unbeaten at 3-0 going into Saturday’s Warren Central Invitational, which will be played at Bazinsky Park on St. Al and Vicksburg High’s home fields.

St. Aloysius trailed 6-5 going to the bottom of the sixth inning. Two pitches got University Christian pitcher Mallory Brown two quick outs.

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Catcher Madison Heggins, who entered the game in the third inning in order to rest her knee, started the Lady Flashes’ comeback by going the opposite way on a 3-1 pitch from Brown. The result was a triple to right field.

Brown walked Mallory McGuffee, who did not break stride in rolling to second base. At this point, assistant coach Howard Park made a gutsy call. He had seventh grader Michelle Howington lay down a squeeze bunt. The bunt was perfect and caught the Flames (2-5) totally off-guard. Heggins’ courtesy runner, Avery Parman, scored easily and Howington beat the throw to first to tie the game at 6.

“We ran a squeeze and she (Howington) executed it,” said Park, who filled in for coach Gene Rogillio. Rogillio missed the game because of a family issue. “That’s how I planned it and they (UCS) weren’t ready for it.”

The squeeze play awakened the rest of the St. Al bats. Allie Willis followed with a double to right center to score McGuffee and Howington for an 8-6 lead. Grace Franco singled up the middle to plate Willis and Haley Heggins belted her third hit of the game to knock in Franco for a 10-6 lead.

UCS got a run back in the top of the seventh off three hits, but Franco recovered to get two strikeouts to end the game. It was Franco’s third straight win to open the season. The key was keeping UCS at six runs after they had taken a 6-4 lead after four innings. She scattered nine hits and struck out six.

Madison Heggins was glad to get the Lady Flashes rally going.

“I was excited because that was my first good hit of the season,” Heggins said of her sixth inning triple. She also had a single in the fourth inning. “I’m glad we won.”

Heggins’ older sister, Haley, broke out of a 2-for-11 slump to start the season with three hits and four RBIs. She drove in two in the first inning for a 2-0 lead and an RBI single in the fifth made it 6-5.

“I was glad to come back some, but I was also excited our team got some hits in our last at-bat,” Haley Heggins said.

Franco helped her pitching effort with two hits and three runs scored. McGuffee had a two-run double in the second inning for a 4-2 St. Al lead. She finished with two hits, two runs and two stolen bases.

Down 4-2 after McGuffee’s double, UCS scored three in the third inning after hits by Rachel Wilson, Brown and Alexa Canterbury. Hannah Alfonso added an RBI single in the fourth to boost the USC lead to 6-4.