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Blast Off! Brighton win slugfest in Munford

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Softball Ali Gover slide

Brighton Lady Cardinal Gracie Poirier is tagged out at home by Munford catcher Makayla Pugh during last Thursday's district contest in Munford.

Brighton Lady Cardinal Gracie Poirier is tagged out at home by Munford catcher Makayla Pugh during last Thursday’s district contest in Munford.

Softball rounding baseThe Munford Lady Cougars are swinging hot bats.
And the upward trend continued last Thursday night at the Munford Softball Field with Lady Cougars Kayla Reed and Kelsey Frizzell jacking home runs. But those blasts were not enough to overcome the Brighton Lady Cardinals.
Behind solid all around hitting, the Lady Cardinals prevailed 7-5 in a District 13-3A slugfest.
“We just kept hitting,” Brighton Head Coach Robin Jacobs said. “That hasn’t been our problem all year. Defense sometimes lets us down. They hit the ball too. We knew they would come back — always do.
“You can’t get a lead in this game and just hang on,” he continued. “They’re always going to come back and we do too. This game is always like that. Had to come down here in a hard place to win. Our schedule has prepared us for these. Right now we’re glad with what we got.”
Brighton got a 3-0 lead in the third inning when pitcher Marissa Moss stroked a single to drive in Kailee Hunt to make the score 1-0.
Next up was Currie McIntyre with Moss and Haley Rider on base. McIntyre crushed a double driving in both base runners.
In the fourth inning Munford cut the deficit to 3-1 when Mattie Rittinger doubled in teammate Makayla Faulk.
Brighton’s advantage grew back to three runs when Kailee Hunt led off the fifth inning with a solo homer.
Munford answered in its half of the inning with a homer. Sara Shepherd stood on second base as Reed came to the plate. The freshman hurler cranked a pitch over the wall for a two-run shot to make the tally 4-3 in favor of Brighton.
In need of some insurance runs in the sixth inning, Brighton received run producing hits from Rider and Moss. Rider’s single drove in Amanda Perry and Ta’mya Johnson.
Moss followed with a base hit of her own to drive in Hunt, who reached base by being hit with the ball. The Lady Cardinals were ahead 7-3.
The final big blow of the night came courtesy of Frizzell. Her two-run homer made the score 7-5.
It was the second district game in which the Lady Cougars had multiple home runs in a game. Munford beat Hardin County using the big fly.
But Frizzell’s dinger was final RBI producing hit of the night. The Lady Cardinals were able to win their district opener. Meanwhile the Lady Cougars dropped to 2-3 in league play.
“We made one error that hurt us and cost us a couple of runs,” Munford Head Coach Glenn Goulder said. “They made a few errors too. But I thought you had two equally talented ball teams out there. They had the upper end tonight. Maybe next time, we don’t know. I was proud of our kids. They stayed with it and didn’t quit.”
Jacobs said it was another down-to-the-wire Munford/Brighton game. He added the basics are to go along with the timely hitting to be a good team like the Lady Cougars.
“We’ll just have to play fundamentals right,” he said. “We’ve really got a way from bunting a little bit because we do hit the ball so well. We’ve got a little speed, so we try to steal a little bit more. Our No. 2 batter hit home runs and the ball off the fence the other night.
“I would hate to take that away with bunts,” Jacobs added. “We’re just trying to hit the ball a little bit more this year. But it will come down to bunting some point this year. Right now we’re trying to hit the ball more than everybody else.”
Goulder said his team has a similar philosophy at this point of the season.
“I think we’ll have to play it by ear,” he said. “We’re in trouble in the games we don’t score 4, 5 or 6 runs. We’re not going to win very many 1-0, 2-0 ball games. That’s not going to happen this year.”
Both coaches agreed that District 13-3A won’t be settled in April, it’s all about May.
“Dyer County beat us twice,” Goulder concluded. “I really felt the second time we had them. It came down to the last pitch of the ball game. Talentwise Hardin County and Dyer County are right there with the rest of us. I think Brighton is a little bit more talented at the bottom (of the lineup) than the rest of us are. But I think it’s pretty tight.”

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