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Maybe a preview of May

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Lady Cardinals Layne pitch

Brighton second baseman Lauren "Rosy" Kinney fires the ball to first baseman Maddy Cox last week to record an out at Arlington.

Brighton second baseman Lauren “Rosy” Kinney fires the ball to first baseman Maddy Cox last week to record an out at Arlington.

Lady Cardinals slide into third

ARLINGTON – With just a light chill in the air, the hot action on the Arlington Softball Field made some of the spectators think it was May 10 instead of March 10.
But it was just Opening Night to the 2014 season when the Arlington Lady Tigers stated a late comeback in the seventh inning after trailing 3-0.
The Lady Tigers scored twice in the final inning with no outs. The visiting Brighton Lady Cardinals faced dyer situation with Lady Tigers standing on second and third and no outs.
Brighton sophomore pitcher Seeley Layne kept her calm and struck out the next Arlington batter to record the first out.
Then a flyball out to right fielder Sam Berryhill led to a throw back into the infield. Layne cut the ball off near home plate keeping the runner at third at bay. Layne fired the ball to second in time for the double play and the 3-2 victory.
“I think the game helped us,” Brighton Head Coach Robin Jacobs said. “I didn’t want to finish the way we did at the end. I just wanted to finish it off there at the end. But with the practices we’ve been doing like hitting that cutoff at the end, we finished the play.
“That’s what we’ve been talking about a couple of weeks ago,” he continued. “We did that and they hung in there. It looked pretty bleak for us there with it 3-2, two on and no outs.”
But all the preseason conversations Jacobs has had with his Lady Cardinals seemed to pay off in the opener against Arlington. The 2013 season ended on a losing streak and the 2014 Lady Cardinals came into the first game determined to get back on the winning side.
“We lost three in row right last year right there at the end,” Jacobs recalled. “We planned on having a good team and we talked about this, having a tough schedule at the beginning.”
In the showdown of Region 7-3A powers, the first three innings were scoreless. The Lady Cardinals were the first time on the scoreboard in the fourth inning when Maddy Cox reached base on a single.
Two batters later, Alex Griffin advanced Cox to third base with a base hit. While Berryhill was at the plate, the Arlington pitcher fired a passed ball leading to Cox scoring.
In need of some insurance, the Lady Cardinals scored twice in the top of the seventh inning. The rally started Kristen Walker living up to her namesake drawing a free pass to first base.
Anna McIntyre moved Walker to second base with a sacrifice bunt. Brighton’s next batter Ali Christmas reached base on an Arlington throwing error.
With runners on first and third, Lauren “Rosy” Kinney drove a clean hit through the Arlington defense to make the score 2-0. Then what turned out to be the winning run was driven in by Cox with a single to centerfield.
“Seeley just kept hanging in there and our defense did good for her,” Jacobs concluded. “We talked about depending on each other and tonight I think we did that. It’s a good step for us to the way we used to do things.”

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