PCA bows out in South State softball tournament

Published 3:48 pm Monday, September 24, 2018

A two-week slump finally caught up to Porter’s Chapel Academy.

Addison Jackson went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs, Baylee Graning had two hits and scored twice, and Cathedral ended PCA’s season with a 7-0 victory Monday in an elimination game at the MAIS Class AAA South State softball tournament.

PCA finished with a 19-9 record and reached the South State tournament for the fifth consecutive season. It was only 4-4 over its last eight games, however, and failed to advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2013.

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PCA was shut out in its last two games.

“That is disappointing. We’ve done everything we could do as a team except win a state championship. Your goal has to be a state championship, because that’s the only thing left,” PCA coach Amanda Yocum said. “We came out strong and played well for three or four weeks, and then didn’t hit these last two weeks. You’ve got to peak right there at the end, and we didn’t.”

PCA won its first two games in the South State tournament on Saturday, then fell into the losers’ bracket with a 7-0 loss to Silliman. It returned to Denham Springs, Louisiana, for the second half of the tournament Monday morning and wound up back on the road home by lunchtime.

Jackson hit an RBI triple in the top of the first inning, and then her courtesy runner scored on a ground out by Lauren Dunbar to stake Cathedral to a 2-0 lead. That margin remained for most of the game. Adrianna Rojo hit an RBI single in the sixth inning, and an RBI double by Dunbar was part of a four-run seventh that broke it open.

PCA pitcher Hannah Embry allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and three walks, while striking out six. She pitched 27 innings in four games at the South State tournament.

More than the late runs, however, PCA was doomed by a lack of hitting. It had three hits — all singles — in Monday’s game after getting two in Saturday’s loss to Silliman.

Jackson, Cathedral’s pitcher, walked three batters and struck out seven. She worked out of jams in the first, fourth and fifth innings as the Lady Eagles left five runners on base.

“We never could string two or three hits together,” Yocum said. “We’ve been plagued with that the last two weeks. We hit our peak in the first week of September and just haven’t been seeing the ball well the last two weeks.”