TROY REGIONALS: Wetumpka still alive despite falling to PelhamPublished 6:26pm Friday, May 9, 2014
Wetumpka gave up one run in both of its AHSAA South Central regional games Friday at the Troy Sportsplex, but it still will have to navigate the loser’s bracket after falling to Pelham 1-0 in the second round.
The Lady Indians (37-19) beat Jeff Davis in its opening game, 3-1.
While junior pitcher Lauren Lett shined in the circle, striking out 14 combined, Wetumpka’s offense struggled to find hits. Jeff Davis’s Raylin Finch held the Tribe to two hits, while Pelham’s Samantha Kusiak allowed three hits.
“That first game took a lot of energy out of us,” Lady Indian head coach Randy Belyeu said. “We came out flat, but Lauren didn’t–thank God. She pitched a very good game against a very good hitting team (Pelham). We didn’t make any errors, they didn’t make any errors. It was a good ballgame, we came out on the bad end of it.”
In the top of the fifth, the Lady Panthers plate the game’s lone run when senior Kristian Foster’s blooper with two outs grazed the top of a jumping Courtney Richardson’s glove, which allowed senior Krista Shirley to score from second.
“Courtney just did miss that one–she got a good break on the ball, it was just out of her reach–they scored that run on,” Belyeu said. “We got to hit the ball.
“We pitched great and played great defense. I think this is the first time we’ve gone two games without making an error, two games back-to-back. And that kept us in the game.”
Lett and Finch dueled in the morning game. Both pitchers held the other team scoreless for the first four frames. In the top of the fifth, Wetumpka opened up the contest, plating three runs off three Jeff Davis errors.
Freshman Katelyn Carswell scored off junior Jessi Freeman’s mishandled ground ball to first baseman Mia Ford. Destinee Brewer’s pop up dropped by centerfielder LaVarsha Thigpen allowed Freeman to come home and Brewer scored off the Lady Vols third straight error to give Wetumpka the 3-0 advantage. Carswell, Freeman and Brewer each stole a base in the inning to get into scoring position.
With its loss to Pelham, the Lady Indians will need to win three games, starting with Central-Phenix City Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Belyeu believes his team can shore up its offensive woes.
“They’re veterans, they know how to fix that,” Belyeu said. “Instead of taking your hands to the ball and getting jammed off the end of the bat because you’re not using your hips where your power is, you got to take your hands between you and the ball. That’s what we got to do. Lauren did that in the last inning, we just can’t wait until the last inning to do it. Finish it, got to finish it.”
Wetumpka will play Central-Phenix City Saturday at 9:30 a.m.