St. Joe softballers on winning streak
After three wins last week pushed their winning streak to four games, the Port St. Joe softball team improved its record to 9-7, the most wins in the program since 2018.
The Tiger Sharks won both ends of a doubleheader last Monday, April 4, defeating Sneads (2-11) 11-3 before disposing of Bay (1-10) 13-1 in the nightcap. The Sharks ended the week by shutting out Rutherford 18-0 on Thursday, April 7.
The Pirates took a quick 1-0 lead in their first at bat, but St. Joe scored three runs in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop Kali Austerman and a run-scoring single by eighth grade pitcher Brooklyn Bishop, who also earned the win.
Batting around the next inning, five Sharks touched home to give St. Joe a commanding 8-1 lead.
Junior outfielder Maelynn Butler’s triple followed by eighth grader Elli Newman’s single, sophomore Addy Creekmore’s walk, senior Erica Ramsey’s single, Austerman’s double, and a Sneads error all led to St. Joe runs.
Three Pirate hits and two Shark errors in the sixth closed the gap to 8-3, but Austerman’s massive three-run blast over the left field fence in that same inning removed all hope of a Sneads comeback.
The Sharks collected seven extra base hits among their total of 13.
In addition to Butler’s three-bagger and Austerman’s dinger, Austerman, Bishop, eighth-grade catcher Lauren Brant, Ramsey, and freshman Addy Silcox all stroked doubles.
Creekmore and Ramsey each scored three times, and Austerman scored twice. Butler, Newman, and sophomore Chelsea Bishop scored the other St. Joe runs.
Austerman drove in five runs, with Silcox adding two more. Brooklyn Bishop, Newman, and Ramsey also had an RBI.
Against Bay, St. Joe batted around in the first inning to take a 5-0 lead. They added two more in the second, one in the third, and five more in the fourth after batting around once again.
The game ended in five innings, with Silcox earning the win.
The Sharks continued the hit parade with four doubles and four triples among their 11 hits.
Chelsea Bishop had two hits, including a double, and an RBI. Freshman Bre Fleming drove in two runs with her double and triple, and scored twice.
Newman hit two doubles, scored two runs, and drove in one. Austerman ran for two triples, scored a run, and drove in two, giving her seven runs batted in for the day.
Ramsey had a triple, scored twice, and drove in two runners. Brooklyn Bishop and Silcox also had hits, with Bishop scoring two and driving in one while Silcox scored and had a run batted in.
Against Rutherford last Thursday night, St. Joe “walked” away to the 18-0 win after Ram pitchers issued 14 free passes in the three-inning affair and kept the Rams winless. Rutherford also committed six fielding errors.
Austerman had two of the three Shark hits, including a double. She also scored twice and drove in two more.
For the week, the St. Joe shortstop batted .667 (6 for 9), with three doubles, two triples, and a home run. She also scored five runs and drove in nine more.
Ramsey scored three runs and drove in another, while sophomore Maya Itzkovitz had the other Shark hit and scored three runs.
Brooklyn Bishop took the win while fanning five Rams.
The Sharks hope to continue the current win streak when they host Leon on Monday, April 11 before playing at Blountstown on Tuesday, April 12, and Franklin County on Thursday, April 14.
“If we keep doing the things we are doing,” said Shark head coach Lissa Walker, “we have a strong chance of continuing the win streak. But all three games are going to be tough if we don’t continue to improve in some critical areas.”
“Overall, we have continued to grow and they are believing in our team more, but we still have a few critical areas short of being where we want to be,” she said.