Photo: Southside High’s Karlee Thompson (right) touches home plate just before the tag of Sardis catcher Jaylyn Hannah during the Lady Lions’ 11-8 victory in girls softball last Monday (March 22) at Southside. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Sardis scored seven runs in the fourth inning then withstood a late Southside rally attempt on the way to an 11-8 victory in girls softball last Monday (March 22) at Southside.
The above offensive outburst, which put the Lady Lions ahead 11-4, allowed the visitors to weather a four-run bottom of the sixth by the Lady Panthers. Sardis shut out the hosts the rest of the way.
Sardis head coach Richie Lee was pleased with how his team protected its slim advantage over the last few innings.
“[Southside] answered a few times there in that bottom half of the [fourth] inning, but our girls did what they needed to do to hold them off. That’s something we were missing early on (in the season), and we started to do it this past weekend at the [Piedmont] tournament and we did it today. Hopefully we can do it consistently from here on out.”
The game was far from crisp, as multiple fielding errors, pitching changes, time outs and discussions amongst the officials contributed to a game time just shy of three hours.
Southside took an early 1-0 lead after Carly Lankford led off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second base, advanced to third on an error and scored on Macey Herren’s sacrifice groundout.
The Lady Lions erased that advantage during the following inning, as RBI singles by Lily Towns, Adelyn Ellis, Harlee Vincent and Jaylyn Minshew staked Sardis to a three-run lead. In the home half of the inning, Raeleigh Burnett singled in Karlee Thompson to make it 4-2.
Southside then took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the third when Lynnsey Hunt, Julia Hurley and Sydney Yancey scored.
Sardis answered with a seven-run fourth that included RBI base hits from Minshew, Jaylyn Hannah, Valerie Owens, Jayda Lacks and Kytha Edwards. Herren, Thompson and Bailey Houston all drove in runs in the bottom of the inning to help the Lady Panthers draw within 11-8.
Southside starter Lexi Darnell retired the next seven Sardis batters to give the hosts a chance, but the Lady Panthers failed to push across another run. Southside had base runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Sardis starter Kayden Tarvin induced a flyout and a groundout to end the game.
For the Lady Lions, Vincent went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a runs scored; Ellis went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored; Lacks went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI and two runs scored; Edwards went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored; Minshew went 2-for-4 with a run scored; and Towns finished with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
For Southside, McBurnett went 3-for-4 with two RBI; Thompson went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored; Houston went 2-for-2 with an RBI; Lankford went 2-for-5 with a run scored; Hunt had a double and two runs scored; Herren had a hit, an RBI and a run scored; and Yancey had two runs scored.
Southside head coach Brett Yancey said his Lady Panthers have allowed the opposition far too many high-scoring innings this season.
“If we can get rid of that “one big inning” every game, we’ll be all right. We battled better at the plate today, but we’ve got to stop making the mistakes that’s costing us too many runs in one inning.”