Lady Tiger Sharks celebrate senior night with a win

Just two days after getting only three hits in a 12-0 shutout by 3A Marianna (18-2), Port St. Joe’s softball team celebrated “senior night” with a 16-8 win over the Sneads Pirates (10-12) on Thursday, April 20. 

St. Joe followed up the recognition of seniors Kali Austerman and Maelynn Butler by pounding out 16 hits to go along with six free passes and three hit batters to even their season record at 10-10. 

Addy Creekmore led off the Shark first with a sharp single to center field, and advanced to second on a one-out hit by Elli Newman. After a double steal, Austerman hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Creekmore with the game’s first run. 

The lead held until the third inning, when the Pirates went ahead 3-1 on four singles. 

After the third hit, which drove in the second run, Brooklyn Bishop replaced Christina Clayton in the pitching circle and immediately induced the second out on a popup to catcher Anniston Gainer. 

The next batter, however, hit a single to left field to drive in the third run of the inning, but Gainer threw her out when she tried to get to second base on the throw home. 

St. Joe wasted no time to tie the score in their next at bat. 

Once again, Creekmore started the rally with a leadoff single, and scored on a double by Addy Silcox. With two outs, Austerman took first base after being struck by a Pirate pitch and stole second. 

Bishop followed with a run-scoring single to left to tie the game, and went to second on Clayton’s hit. The inning ended with the home crowd disagreeing with the base umpire when he ruled that Hailey Green was thrown out at first on a play that could have used instant replay. 

The Tiger Sharks sent 13 batters to the plate in the fourth, with seven of them scoring. 

Butler got things going with a hit down the first base line, and ended up at second. Pinch hitter Chelsea Bishop then smashed the first pitch down the left field line to drive in Butler. 

After Gainer went in to run for Bishop, she stole second and then sped home on Creekmore’s third hit of the game, scoring on an impressive head-first slide in front of the throw. 

The next batter, Silcox, took first after being hit by a pitch, and headed to third on Newman’s double to the right field fence. Creekmore rounded the bases to score on the play. 

Three more Shark runs came home after a Pirate pitching change. A walk to Austerman, a fielder’s choice by Brooklyn Bishop, and another walk to Clayton loaded the bases for Green, who rose to the occasion with a run-scoring single that drove in Austerman.

Walks to Gainer and Creekmore drove in two more runs before the inning ended, but not before the Sharks held a 10-3 lead. 

Sneads came back to score two runs on three consecutive hits in the fifth, but St. Joe added four more runs to its total in their half of the inning, increasing the lead to 14-5. 

Newman led off with a bloop hit over third base, followed by Austerman being hit by yet another pitch. Brookly Bishop’s single drove in Newman, and Austerman raced to third on the hit. 

The Pirate coach then put her starting pitcher back to work, and she immediately issued a free pass to Clayton. 

It was at this point that a delay in the game occurred, with Sneads objecting that Clayton had been illegally re-entered into the game. They felt that, since Bishop had replaced her as pitcher, she had come out of the game, whereas she had merely become the Flex player and retained her place in the batting order. 

Although the St. Joe coaching staff had notified the home plate umpire of her situation, that message apparently was not received in the visitor’s dugout, and multiple explanations were necessary before action resumed. 

While the discussions continued on the Sneads side of the field, Butler hit a ball that could have resulted in the third out of the inning, but a throwing error allowed both Clayton and Butler to score. St. Joe led 14-5. 

Not giving up, the Pirates scored twice in the sixth, including a long bases-empty home run, but the Sharks got those two runs back in their half of the sixth with Creekmore and Silcox both scoring. 

Although Sneads managed one more run in the seventh and had two more runners in scoring position, St. Joe got the final two outs to successfully close out senior night 16-8. 

Creekmore and Newman both collected three hits during the game, with Silcox, Brooklyn Bishop, Clayton, and Green each having two hits. Chelsea Bishop and Butler had the other Shark hits. 

Creekmore scored four times, followed closely by Austerman with three. Butler, Silcox and Clayton scored two each. Brooklyn Bishop, Gainer, and Newman added the other St. Joe runs. 

Brooklyn Bishop, Creekmore, Newman, and Silcox each drove in two runs. Austerman, Chelsea Bishop, Gainer, and Green also had runs batted in. 

“I thought we did well,” said St. Joe coach Lissa Walker. “Senior Night is always a big night, so coming out here and getting a win is really good for us.”

“We hit the ball extremely well, (but) our defense was weak in a lot of areas that I thought we needed to be stronger. Things that we work on every day, and we’re still making mistakes,” she said. 

“But, overall, we kept hitting the ball and getting the runs, which is good. We went down 3-1 and were able to come back and tie it up off of solid hits,” she added. 

With no game until Tuesday, April 25 (at Arnold), “We have a nice break, and can get some work in. It’s Prom Saturday, so it’s a good day to let them be kids,” she said.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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