Meridian Star

Sports

March 16, 2014

Fielding blunders prove costly as Southeast falls to West Harrison

MERIDIAN — The Southeast Lauderdale High School softball team appeared to take their at-bats into the field, according to head coach Ashlee Bailey.

And the six errors they committed against West Harrison High School Saturday seemed to back up that assessment, as the Lady Tigers fell to the Lady Hurricanes, 10-0, in the Clarkdale Spring Fling Tournament.

“I think we were struggling at the plate, and then we lost focus,” Bailey said of her team, which had just two hits against the Lady Hurricanes. “West Harrison is a good team — they’re really good. They’re fundamentally sound, and we didn’t come out and make the plays we needed to make in order to win. We didn’t put the ball in play like we should have.”

West Harrison, by contrast, had no fielding blunders, and winning pitcher Stephanie Necaise was brilliant through six innings. She struck out eight and issued no walks while forcing numerous groundball outs. Necaise worked quickly on the mound, and she had 1-2-3 innings in her final four frames pitched.

“She did a great job,” West Harrison head coach Brittany Rogers said. “She always comes out and performs really well. She threw her curveball a lot today.”

Bailey said Necaise did a good job mixing up her pitches against her Lady Tigers.

“She throws it very well,” Bailey said. “She threw some different pitches and some offspeed (stuff), and we just didn’t hit like we needed to.”

Southeast’s Lauren Yeager took the lost, surrendering 10 runs on nine hits in six innings of work. She also had three strikeouts, two walks and one hit batter.

After a scoreless first inning, West Harrison jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second when Ally Hancock came home on a throwing error and Ashlyn Raffeo smacked a two-run double. Ashley Sexton also scored on a passed ball.

The Lady Hurricanes made it 6-0 when Hancock reached first on a throwing error, scoring Katelyn Raffeo. Hancock scored on a fielder’s choice.

In the bottom of the fourth, Katelyn Raffeo singled to bring in a run and make it 7-0 West Harrison. The Lady Hurricanes plated two more runs in the fifth when Shelbi Ladner crossed home plate on a throwing error by Southeast. Whitney Smith later reached first on another throwing error, allowing Alexis Cuevas to come in from third.

In the sixth inning, West Harrison scored their final run on an RBI single by Hancock. The game was called due to the 10-runs-after-five mercy rule.

Katelyn Raffeo, Hancock and Bailey Street all finished the game 2-for-3 for West Harrison. Nancy Williams and Dori Timms accounted for Southeast’s only two hits.

Southeast 14, Greenville 4

The Lady Tigers rebounded nicely with a 10-run win against Greenville High School later Saturday afternoon.

Bailey Pickett was the winning pitcher for Southeast, giving up just one hit in three innings of work. She also struck out two. Magen Chatham pitched the final two innings, yielding no hits while tallying four strikeouts.

Lauren Yeager, Nancy Williams and Malerie Thornton all went 2-for-2 in Game 2.

Southeast (4-1) will play at Lake High School Monday.

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