St. Aloysius advances for first time since ’09

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 22, 2012

FLOWOOD — For the first time in three years, St. Aloysius was able to celebrate a victory in a playoff series.

Julie Mabry had two hits and scored three runs, Grace Franco allowed one run in five innings of relief, and the Lady Flashes beat University Christian 8-2 in Game 2 of a first-round Class 1A playoff series Saturday.

The victory completed a two-game sweep, and marked the first time since 2009 that St. Al has won a playoff series. That year, the Lady Flashes beat Ethel before losing to Bogue Chitto. This time, St. Al will face Stringer in the second round, which begins Thursday.

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Against University Christian on Saturday, St. Al (10-10) seized control in the later innings. Mabry singled and scored on a fielder’s choice in the top of the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie, and Avery Parman later scored on a groundout to give the Lady Flashes a 4-2 lead.

They added three more runs in the sixth inning, two of them coming in on RBI singles by Madison Heggins and Mabry, to go up 7-2. One more run scored in the seventh on a wild pitch to add the finishing touches.

St. Al only had six hits in the game, but was helped by six University Christian errors. St. Al did not commit an error in the series.

“We started hitting the ball and unfortunately for them, they made some errors and we capitalized on the errors,” St. Al coach Gene Rogillio said. “We played two full games with no errors. That’s good for us.”

Franco allowed one run on three hits during her relief stint. She struck out three and walked one.

Starter Camran Curtis gave up two runs in two innings-plus before giving way to Franco.

Franco also drove in two runs to help her cause.

“We felt confident with Grace on the mound. She just gets strikes across,” Rogillio said. “Once she came in, you could see the difference.”