By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Through four innings, the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels displayed moments of brilliance building a 3-0 advantage over the Jackson Christian Lady Eagles.
TRA Head Coach Johnie Sanfratello would be the first to tell you April 9 from the Lady Rebel Field home dugout the lead could have been bigger. The veteran Skipper lamented on his team’s base running miscues, bad decisions at the pate and lack of awareness on defense.
The Lady Rebel errors were like a ticking time bomb that finally exploded off the bat of Jackson Christian standout Sophie Dunavant. In the top of the fifth, Dunavant crushed a pitch 230 feet to dead centerfield to deadlock the game at 3-3.
After the big moment for the Freed-Hardeman signee tied the game for the Lady Eagles, it appeared TRA had the proper response in the sixth inning. But issue of costly errors reared its ugly head when Lady Rebel Abby West stroked a double to centerfield.
West easily reached second base on the hit. For some reason West was heading to third base as the Lady Eagles relayed the ball into the infield into the glove of the shortstop. As West was still in stride,
she ran right into the tag of the defender for the first out.
“I just wasn’t thinking,” West acknowledged. “I wasn’t paying attention to the ball — really. I should have been watching it more honestly. I was upset at myself.”
The next three Lady Rebels reached base following West’s out. But the sixth inning ended still deadlock at 3-3 when TRA left the three runners stranded.
The scoreboard read 3-3 until the bottom of the ninth inning. The second frame of extra innings produced a chance for West to have a moment of redemption. She delivered with a laser over third base into leftfield to score the game-winning run.
“It feels good to help my team out,” West said of the 4-3 win over Jackson Christian. “We had to get our hits and play good defense for us to help our pitcher out in this game.”
West said pitchers Charli Rice and Rachel Whitley have been doing a solid job all season. The rest of the lineup has to back them up and listen to the coaches to eliminate those mistakes.
By Thomas Sellers Jr.