St. Aloysius’ losing skid continues

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

RAYMOND — Through 2 ½ innings Tuesday, the St. Aloysius Lady Flashes were cruising along with a six-run lead and finally getting to feel some of the joy that sports success can bring.

They should have known better. In this brief but miserable summer season, nothing comes that easy.

Central Hinds used a couple of big hits to wipe out its deficit in less than two innings. After a long string of walks reached its horrible conclusion the game was also over, with the Lady Cougars walking off the field with a 17-7 run-rule victory in only four innings.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“Everything has just been a struggle for the girls. Either our defense is on and our hitting is off, or our hitting is on and our pitching is off. We just can’t ever get anything going together,” St. Al coach Candice Reeder said. “We have just decided to take this entire season as a life lesson. It’s not always going to be sunshine and roses. It’s not always how you come out of that tough situation, it’s how you respond to that tough situation you’re put in.”

It was the 13th consecutive loss for St. Al, which has not won since reaching the MHSAA Class 1A quarterfinals in May. Only three players who played in those playoffs were in the starting lineup on Tuesday for the MAIS game with Central Hinds.

Two of them, Brooklyn Richards and Jordan McDonald, have been pressed into pitching duty for the first time and struggled all season long. This week has been an extension of that.

In a 16-0 loss to Riverfield on Monday, Richards threw 75 pitches in one inning. Less than 24 hours later, the tired right-hander was back in the circle trying to make a go of it. She got through the first two innings without a scratch, then hit the wall in the third and fourth.

Madison Frazier hit a bases-clearing double and scored on a wild pitch to cut St. Al’s 6-0 lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the third inning. In the fourth, Richards walked four batters before giving way to McDonald, who fared no better.

McDonald walked four more batters and hit one before Richards came back into the circle. Richards walked two more batters and hit two as Central Hinds only recorded one out during its 13-run inning.

In all, Central Hinds sent 17 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth and only put three balls in play. Richards and McDonald combined to walk 11 batters and hit three in the inning, including nine in a row at one point.

“In Brooklyn and Jordan’s defense, they haven’t been bred to pitch. They can last a couple of innings, but after a while they just get exhausted,” Reeder said. “(Richards) was sore and exhausted from last night’s game. I didn’t think she would make it through the whole game today and she didn’t.”

The late implosion overshadowed a good start to the game for St. Al, as well as some solid hitting. Anna Beauchamp was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, and Hannah Ashley went 2-for-3 with a two-run triple in the first inning. Richards also had an RBI single and scored a run.

The Lady Flashes scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the third to take a 6-0 lead before it slipped away.

St. Al has two games left in its season, Thursday at Hartfield Academy and next Tuesday at Bazinsky Park against Central Hinds. After that, Reeder said, will be a long and welcome offseason — not just because it’s the end of this one, but because it offers a chance to regroup for 2016.

“We said we were going to do the best we could with the circumstances we were given, and we’re going to work our tails off in the offseason and hopefully come back strong next season,” Reeder said.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

email author More by Ernest