FROM OUR FRIENDS AT CENTRAL ALABAMA SCOREBOARD
Story by: Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by: Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography
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MILLBROOK – Coaches preach about “that moment.” “That moment” in a game where magic happens. Khloe Jones found her magic moment Monday night batting in the bottom of the eighth-inning with bases loaded. Jones was batting for Emily McElvaine, who had subbed out earlier. With the game tied and bases loaded, Jones slapped a Tigers offering between first and second plating the winning run and giving the Mustangs the 11-10 victory in their second extra-innings game of the still-young 2021 softball season.
“We had been telling them that their chance will come,” said Virginia Barber, coach of the Mustangs. “Khloe subbed into run for (McElvaine), which put her out of the game. So when Khloe came up to bat, she knew she had a chance to shine and she did.”.
While the end of the game had all the drama, the beginning had the makings of a blowout. Stanhope Elmore plated four runs in the bottom of the first frame to take a 4-1 lead.
“We started off strong, taking advantage of Tallassee’s slow start,” said Barber. “Once they got in their groove and playing like they are capable of, we went back and forth.”
The Tigers plated one run in the top of the third while the Mustangs plated three more in the bottom half giving them a 7-2 lead. Tallassee’s offense came to life late, eventually taking a 10-9 lead into the bottom of the eighth.
“It was a good game,” said Pat Love, coach of the Tigers. “Stanhope Elmore played really good and had some timely hits. Our girls did a good job of battling back. We got down big early and found a way back in it. We just have a lot of good players that are struggling right now.”
Miscues, however doomed the Tigers as (with a runner on second to start the inning) pitching miscues allowed the two Mustangs to trot onto base while a third one – hit by pitch – pushed the tying run home, setting up Jones for the win.
Jerrica Word picked up the win for the Mustangs (fanning two over the course of eight innings) while Alexis Walls (two strike outs through six and two-thirds innings) was saddled with the loss.
“The thing about tonight, we have 14 girls on our roster and all 14 contributed in some way, be it subbing into the game, pinch-running: All 14 had a part in tonight’s game,” said Barber.
Offensively, the Tigers had eight hits and eight RBIs. Chloe Baynes, Chloe Davidson and Avary Lumpkin finished the mid-evening affair with two hits each. Lexi Love doubled and Catherine Royster put one in the woods, for a solo home run. Love and Royster combined to drive in six runs.
On the home side of the field, the Mustangs accounted for 12 hits and all but three pushed runners home. Freshman Jada McLeod was 4-of-5 on the night with a run scored. Kelbi Johnson and McElvaine combined for four hits and to drive in six runs. Lindsey White doubled and Johnson turned a Tallassee offering into a home run.
Stanhope Elmore High travels to Prattville tomorrow and then back to Lagoon Park on Thursday to challenge Brew Tech, before having the rare weekend off. Tallassee High is set to host Central-Phenix City this afternoon and then Auburn on Thursday.