DeCluette and Simon Power Sandiettes to Win
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Sandiettes had breezed through the first half of district play undefeated and had run-ruled four of the six opponents played.
For a while on Thursday, March 29 (at least for half an inning), it appeared the Sandiettes’ win streak might be in jeopardy against the Centerville Lady Tigers. Appearances can be deceiving, however, as Grapeland fell behind by four after the top half of the first inning and then came storming back to wallop the Lady Tigers by a final score of 19-4.
Cadie Belle Currie was in the pitcher’s circle for the Sandiettes and gave up a lead-off to Kayla Wilson to start the game. Sarah Stutzman followed with a strike out and then Currie walked Charmayne Hubbell.
An error allowed Wilson to move to third and a single from Kinsey Hardee plated Wilson to give Centerville a 1-0 lead. A Hannah Matthews double pushed Hubbell across the dish and moved Hardee to third.
Currie hit Reileigh Matthews with a pitch to load the bases and then walked Ashlee Nickerson to drive in Hardee and make the score 3-0, in favor of the Lady Tigers.
Brooke Denman struck out for out number two but Wager singled to center to score H. Matthews and make the score 4-0. Currie finally got out of the inning when Wilson flew out to center.
For the first time in the district season, the Sandiettes found themselves down by four runs when they came to bat, however, they responded in a big way.
Cierra Simon was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom half of the first. That brought Kierra DeCluette to the plate and on a 2-2 pitch from Hubbell, DeCluette turned on the ball. She hit the pitch with the sweet spot of the bat and lofted it high into the Thursday afternoon sky.
Initially, it looked like it would be hauled in by the Lady Tigers’ centerfielder, but when she stopped running 20 yards from the fence, it was evident the ball had left the yard and DeCluette had her first homerun of the season.
Cheney Boyd followed with a triple and scored on a Hannah Chipman groundout to make the score 4-3, Centerville.
Hubbell managed to get the next two Sandiettes out to end the inning and send the game into the second.
Currie appeared to get over whatever first inning jitters she had and got Stutzman to fly out, caught Hubbell looking at a called strike and then got Hardee to chase strike three to end the inning.
The Sandiettes took the lead in the bottom half of the second. KeKe Harris was hit by a pitch to lead things off for Grapeland and then Diamond Dunn drew a walk. A wild pitch from Hubbell moved Harris to third and Dunn to second.
A groundout from Haylee Reed scored Harris to tie the game at four and moved Dunn to third base. Cierra Simon was up next and ripped a pitch into center for an RBI double which gave the Sandiettes their first lead of the game at 5-4.
The Centerville pitcher held Grapeland to the one run lead after she got DeCluette to ground out and Currie to fly out.
When Currie re-entered the circle, she was lights out. She got H. Matthews on a swinging strike out, caught R. Matthews looking. After a harmless double from Nickerson, Currie got Denman to strike out to end the inning.
Grapeland added a run to their lead in the bottom of the third when Madi McCombs sacrificed Chipman in from third to make the score 6-4.
After Currie retired the Lady Tigers in the top of the fourth, the bottom fell out for Centerville as the Sandiettes crossed the plate 13 times to run-rule their third consecutive opponent in the fourth inning.
Back-to-back walks to Dunn and Reed were followed by Simon’s second homer at home as she cleared the centerfield fence for a three-run HR to make the score 9-4.
The Sandiettes went on to score 10 more runs in the inning and when Boyd crossed the plate with rum number 19, the game was called.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.