After absorbing a 5-0 shutout loss at Liberty County on Monday, March 6, Coach Lissa Walker’s Port St. Joe softball team found a much needed respite against Poplar Springs and Bethlehem to end the week with two easy wins and boosted its record to 4-2 for the season.
Against the defending Region 1 champion and 1A state runner-up Liberty County, “I thought we played them well,” said Walker. “Brooklyn (Bishop) threw really well, (but) we had three or four crucial errors at the wrong time, and before you know it, it’s 5-0.”
Not taking anything away from the 6-4 Bulldogs, Walker said that “they swing (the bat) well.”
Thursday’s visit to Graceville against Poplar Springs (1-3) proved to be quite beneficial to Walker’s young Tiger Sharks as they walloped the Atomics 21-3 in five innings.
St. Joe scored five in the first, nine more in the second, three in the fourth, and five more in the fifth and final inning. Poplar Springs managed three runs in their first at bat, but were held scoreless the rest of the game as Addy Silcox, Haley Green, and Christina Clayton combined on a three hitter.
Of the 19 Tiger Shark hits, seven were doubles and three more were triples.
Lauren Brant had a double among her two hits, scored twice, and drove in two. Maelynn Butler added a double and a triple, three runs, and two runs batted it.
Brooklyn Bishop contributed four hits to the cause, one of which was a double, scored four times and drove in a run. Silcox hit two doubles, scored twice, and drove in three.
Addy Creekmore and Clayton both had three-baggers among their two hits each, scored two runs and drove in a run. Bre Fleming added a triple, scored twice, and drove in two.
Green, Emma Leffew, and Maya Itzkovitz also had a hit apiece, with Green’s being a double. Green and Leffew each scored once, and Green and Itzkovitz drove in runs.
Chelsea Bishop and Anniston Gainer also scored for the Tiger Sharks.
Friday night’s “contest” against Bethlehem (1-2) lasted a mere three innings when St. Joe invoked the mercy rule with a 15-0 win.
Brooklyn Bishop pitched the first two innings, and after hitting the leadoff batter, fanned four of the next six hitters. Clayton took the circle for the final three outs, striking out two of the three Wildcats that she faced.
St. Joe sent eight batters to the plate in the first inning, and five runs crossed the plate on three hits. Silcox and Fleming each drove in a run with base hits.
Aided by four Wildcat errors, the Lady Sharks sent 14 batters to the plate in the second inning, with seven of them scoring. A Silcox double highlighted the scoring parade.
Ahead 14-0 in the third inning and the bases loaded, pinch hitter Sam Childers hit a clutch hit to right field to drive in Elli Newman with the 15th and final run. A Clayton hit followed by Silcox’s run-scoring triple had started the inning.
Chelsea Bishop had a double and a single, scored twice, and drove in three for the game. Silcox scored three times and drove in a run with her triple.
Brant scored twice and had a run batted in. Brooklyn Bishop had a hit and scored two runs, and Creekmore added a hit, a run, and an rbi. Butler also had a hit and a run, and Fleming and Gainer both scored a run as well.
After the game ended, Walker said “We’ll take (games like this), because it gives us a chance to relax and have fun.”
“We will always have tough games, (so) it’s nice to have a game like this, especially at home.”
Walker adjusted the defensive lineup against the Wildcats, moving Brant to shortstop from her usual spot behind the plate, and Gainer at catcher. “She (Gainer) did really well,” said Walker, “and has been a bright spot.”
“It’s nice to be able to mix (the players) up. It’s always good to be able to move them around.” “We’re still trying to find the right combination at the right time,” she added.
After enjoying some Spring Break time off, Walker and the Lady Tiger Sharks will resume action on Friday, March 17, in Geneva, Alabama, at the Geneva Tournament.
Friday’s opponents will be Pike Liberal Arts (0-2) and Geneva High School (3-0).