‘We left it on the field’: Close losses end Lady Tribe’s season at regionalsPublished 7:02pm Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Sometimes, you get beat.
That fact made Wetumpka’s exit from regionals, at the hands of pitcher Katherine Kelly and Central-Phenix City by the score of 2-1, a little easier to stomach for head coach Randy Belyeu.
“I told (the girls), they did not lose the game, we got beat,” Belyeu said. “They made an adjustment and we weren’t able to make an adjustment on (Kelly) throwing inside. We’d been hitting her all year. I told them to hold their heads up.”
Wetumpka (37-20) and the Lady Red Devils split two previous games this season, both games in a tournament setting. In the latest meeting, the Tribe pounded out 11 hits against Kelly in an 8-6 loss.
The Lady Indians slumped offensively all three games at the Class 6A South Central regional at the Troy Sportsplex this weekend. While the bats made more contact versus Central, with six hits, Wetumpka collected just 11 hits and scored four combined runs.
“We did not hit the ball,” Belyeu said. “It’s the little things. We got to get better with the little things, as far as defense and making adjustments hitting.”
After two scoreless frames in the elimination game, junior Destinee Brewer put Wetumpka on the board first in the third. The leadoff batter, who went 2-for-4 to lead the team, reached on a single and quickly stole second base. Two batters later, junior Alex Christian brought Brewer home on an RBI single for the 1-0 lead.
Pitcher Lauren Lett stayed consistent in the circle, striking out six and allowing just four hits to Central. In the bottom of the fifth, Madison Graham flared in one of those hits for a two-out, two-run double.
While the Lady Tribe didn’t fulfill its goal of advancing to state, Belyeu said the leadership from seniors Emily Armstrong, Ashley Dixon and Brooklyn Weldon brought them this far.
“It’s been a pleasure with those three seniors. (Armstrong and Dixon) going to college to play ball, (Weldon) going to Auburn to be a student,” the coach said. “If she wanted, she could’ve played college ball, she chose not to. I’ve had her for six years, she’s the only player I’ve had for six years, it’s bittersweet there, losing her. But man, she’s smart behind the plate. Great leadership this year, even from some of the juniors. It’s going to be hard, missing them.”
Adjustments will be key for Wetumpka in the offseason, Belyeu said. One area the team won’t need to adjust is its pitching.
“We got five good pitchers coming back. One was hurt, two a little nervous right now. We got to work on our defense. Should be a complete team.”
But Belyeu lauded his team Saturday, for their determination and laying it all out there.
“Overall, it’s been a great year, I couldn’t any more from the girls. Couldn’t ask for a better year, other than finishing at state.
“I don’t know what to say, we left it on the field. That’s your headline: we left it on the field. We played hard.”