Grapeland 11 Slocum 3
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Sandiettes started the 2022 softball season strong, but in recent weeks, they’ve been in a slump. The Sandiettes were 0-3 in District 25-2A competition and in desperate need of a win if they wanted to have a shot at the postseason.
On Friday afternoon, Grapeland welcomed the Slocum Lady Mustangs to the friendly confines of Sandiette Stadium and got the shot in the arm they needed to get back on track as they defeated their long-time softball rivals 11-3.
Jaycee Graham was in the circle for Grapeland and worked an easy 1-2-3 first inning. When the Sandiettes came in from the field they took the early lead.
MaKayla McCombs led off for the home team with a single off of Slocum pitcher Marlee Lasiter. Morgan Terry and Kaleigh Lively both drew walks to load the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch brought in McCombs from third while Terry and Lively both moved up a base.
A single to left from Jessi Cunningham plated Terry to make the score 2-0, but that was all Grapeland would get as Lasiter regrouped to strike out the next three batters she faced to end the inning.
The Lady Mustangs would strike back to take the lead when they came in to bat during the top of the second.
Lexi Bennet led off the frame and reached on ana error. A passed ball moved her to second while an infield error on an Addie Bowman grounder advanced her to third. Bowman stole second and when Lasiter dropped down a bunt, Bennet raced home to make the score 2-1.
Bowman moved to third on the play while Lasiter stole second two pitches later. Rayli Teems was up next and was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no nobody out. Gabrielle Warrington followed in the order and singled into center to drive in Bowman, making the score 2-2.
Graham, just like Lasiter the inning before, regained her composure after the second run scored. She gave up one more run to make the score 3-2 in favor of Slocum, but that was it.
The Sandiettes went in order in the bottom of the second and no one scored again until Grapeland plated three in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead.
Ella Post led off for the Sandiettes with a single up the middle. MaKenna McCombs was up next and grounded out but MaKayla McCombs reached base after she was hit by a pitch. Terry followed in the batting order and she ripped a double into center field which plated Post and McCombs to make the score 4-3 in favor of Grapeland.
A wild pitch moved Terry to third while a passed ball allowed her to scurry home, giving the Sandiettes a lead they would not relinquish.
After Lasiter worked her way out of the inning, Slocum threatened in the top of the sixth but couldn’t get anyone across the plate.
The Sandiettes next at-bat saw them break the game wide open. Haley Boehm led off with a walk and Kamryn Sparks came in for her as a pinch runner. Graham was up next and hit a shallow fly ball to right. It was misplayed, however, but because of the depth and the way the ball rolled, Sparks was thrown out advancing to second.
After Anna Cutshaw popped up to short, the floodgates opened. Graham stole second and scored when Post singled to center. MaKenna McCombs singled to right to move Post to second and when MaKayla McCombs singled to center, Post crossed the plate to make the score 7-3.
Morgan Terry was up next and singled to center, advancing the base runners. Lively followed with a double to drive in the three baserunners and make the score 10-3. A passed ball moved her to third and when Jessi Cunningham doubled into left, Lively crossed the dish to make the score 11-3.
Graham took care of business in the top of the seventh as the Sandiettes picked up the 11-3 victory. She was credited with the win after going seven innings and giving up three (zero earned) runs on five hits. She also struck out eight and walked one.
Lasiter took the loss in five innings of work. She gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits, struck out eight and walked five.
At the plate, the Sandiettes were led by Morgan Terry who was 2-3 with three RBI, three runs scored and a walk. Jessi Cunningham was 2-3 with two RBI and a walk while Kaleigh Lively was 1-2 with two RBI and a run scored.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].