By Will Johnson
LOVELADY – The Grapeland Sandiettes capped over their 21-2A District Championship season with a win over the Lovelady Lady Lions on Friday, April 21 by a final score of 5-2.
After Lovelady pitcher Sydney Price shut down the Grapeland batting order in the first inning, the Sandiettes scored a pair of runs in the second to take an early 2-0 lead.
Price struck out Madi McCombs to open the second but yielded a walk to Hannah Chipman who followed McCombs in the order. Chipman moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and trotted home with the game’s first run after KeKe Harris tripled into the right field corner.
Reagan Bishop knocked in Harris with a single to left to make the score 2-0. Price managed to re-group and retired the next two batters she faced to hold the Sandiettes to only a pair of runs in the inning.
Cadie Belle Currie was in the pitcher’s circle for the Sandiettes and retired six of the first seven batters she faced. The lone hit came from Kaiden LeMaire who doubled into the centerfield gap but was stranded at third after Currie wriggled off the hook without any damage.
As the game moved to the third inning, Hailee Sheridan led off with a walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Back-to-back outs kept Sheridan at second. McCombs was hit by a pitch and moved to first, but she and Sheridan were left on base after Hannah Chipman popped up to end the top of the inning.
When Lovelady came to bat in their half of the third they managed to even the score. Makayla White led off with a single to right. Currie struck out Heather Elliott for the first out of the inning and then coaxed Price to hit into a 6-3 force at first.
White took second on the play and moved to third on Tea Soberano’s slow roller through the infield. Soberano promptly stole second to put runners on second and third with two outs.
Allison Hay was up next and cleared the bases with a single to center which plated both White and Soberano to tie the game at two.
Currie shook off the runs and forced MaLanta Wiley to ground out to end the inning.
With the score now tied in the top of the fourth, the Sandiettes set about to recapture the lead. Harris led off with a fly ball out, but Bishop drew a walk off of Price and Taylar Mullen slapped a single to left.
Diamond Maines-Dunn also drew a walk off of Price to load the bases. When Sheridan watched ball four go by, there was no place left to put her and Bishop came trotting home with the go-ahead run.
Currie was up next and hit into a 4-6 force at second but on the play Mullen was able to motor home and put the Sandiettes back on up by two.
Following an out on the base paths to end the inning, Currie mowed the Lady Lions down in order to bring the fourth to a close.
Both Price and Currie worked a quiet fifth to move the game into the sixth where the Sandiettes tacked on an insurance run.
White came in to pitch in relief and retired the first two hitters she faced. Maines-Dunn followed with a single and moved to second on a steal. Sheridan was up next and roped a shot that was mishandled in the infield and allowed Maines-Dunn to cross the plate to make the score 5-2.
White worked her way out of a jam to retire the side but the Lady Lions could not muster anymore offense against Currie. The freshman phenom slammed the door on the Lovelady comeback bid as the Sandiettes held on to win by a final of 5-2.
Currie picked up the win with seven strong innings of work. She yielded two runs on six hits and struck out seven.
Price was saddled with the loss after going 4.1 innings. She gave up four runs on three hits, struck out four and walked seven. White pitched the last 2.2 innings and gave up one run on three hits and struck out one.
At the plate, Reagan Bishop led the way for the Sandiettes. She was 1-2 with a RBI and a run scored. KeKe Harris was 1-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
The Lady Lions were led by Allison Hay who was 2-3 with two RBI.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.