The main question following the Lady Tigers’ impressive 26-12 and 24-13 doubleheader sweep of district 3-2A foe Lakeview on the road was who was most tired? Was it the players who blasted 17 hits, drew an incredible 33 base-on-balls, and scored a whopping 50 runs over the eight innings played in the two contests? Or was it the poor scorekeeper who had to keep track of it all?
Regardless, the coaching staff of the first year, head man Mathew Pearce, James Garsee, and Wayne Anderson, Lady Tiger players and yes, even the weary scorekeeper, were ecstatic following the affair that saw the first pitch thrown at 5:00 pm and the team bus pull back into the JHHS parking lot at 11:00 pm – six hours later.
JHHS improved to 7-8 on the year, creeping ever so close to the .500 mark, something that hasn’t been achieved since the 2017-18 season. Ironically, that was when current assistant coach Garsee, who took several years off due to medical issues, was the head coach. Is there a connection? You bet ya!
The Lady Tigers also soared into second place in district 3-2A and with their 2-1 record, sit just one-half game behind league leader Many (2-0). More importantly, JHHS has climbed to #22 in the Division IV power rankings, putting them in a solid position of qualifying for the postseason.
Zoie Anderson, who has pitched every inning of the 15 games played this season, was the catalyst of the offense as well, hitting for the cycle (1B, 2B, 3B HR) over the two games and ending each contest with a home run. In all, Anderson reached base nine times with five hits and four walks, scored 7 runs, drove in four, and stole three bases.
Additional major contributors were Alania Ashcraft, who walked NINE times, stole 8 bases and scored 7 runs, J Walker with six runs scored on five walks and a hit, Realte Atkins with 6 walks, 5 runs scored, and a double, Kyla Hayes – 5 RBI, 4 hits, 4 runs scored, 4 walks, 3 stolen bases and two doubles, Skyliah Dill – 8 stolen bases, six walks, and four runs scored, Payge Christesen – 5 RBI, 4 stolen bases, 3 walks, 2 runs scored, Sierra Bond – 5 walks, 5 stolen bases, and Alivia Anderson – 4 runs scored, 4 walks, two hits.
|JHHS (6-8, 1-1||1||10||8||6||2||26||9||4|
|Lakeview (0-12, 0-2)||4||5||0||2||1||12||8||11|
2B – Hayes, Z. Anderson
3B – Z. Anderson
HR – Z. Anderson
RBI – Z. Anderson 5, Christesen 3, Hayes 2, A. Anderson, Dill, Racine
RS – Ashcraft 4, Walker 4, Hayes 3, Atkins 3, Z. Anderson 3, Dill 3, Bond 2, A. Anderson 2, Christesen, Racine
|Lakeview (0-13, 0-3)||1||0||9||3||13||8||3|
|JHHS (7-8, 2-1)||11||6||7||x||24||5||3|
2B – Hayes
HR – Z. Anderson
RBI – Z. Anderson 3, Hayes 3, Christesen 2
RS – Z. Anderson 4, Ashcraft 3, Qualls 2, Jones 2, A. Anderson 2, Walker 2, Cribbs 2, Atkins 2, Dill, Christesen, Bond, Hayes, Racine
Seventh-inning rally lifts Lady Wolverines past Jena
Using nifty baserunning by Skylar Hall and Hallie Kate Pullig along with a clutch, two-out single by Maggie Guyotte, Quitman scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh innings to slip past Jena by a 3-2 score. The Giant killing of the 5th ranked team in Division III, or in this case, Lady Giant, cemented Quitman’s #1 ranking in Division and ran their record to 22-5 on the year.
Jena struck first after the leadoff batter walked and then Quitman uncharacteristically made errors on back-to-back ground balls. Quitman starting pitcher, Cali Deal settled down to strike out the next two to get out of the inning and then evened the score when she drilled the first pitch she saw over the right field fence.
From then on until the final frame Deal and Cooper from Jena settled into a pitching duel that saw the pair combine to strike out 24 batters, with Deal fanning 13 to run her record to a sparkling 15-1 on the year. The K total marked the 8th time this season the lefthanded fireballer has compiled double digits in strikeouts in a contest and ran her total of victims to an astounding 191 in just 104 innings pitched, for an incredible average of 1.84 batters per inning.
It looked like Quitman would lose for a second straight loss in two days when Jena opened the 7th inning with a double and single that plated a run after Quitman’s sixth error of the contest. The Lady Giants got another hit but right fielder Madeline Vail fired the ball back into Deal who relayed it to Guyotte at third to tag the runner out trying to advance and end the inning, setting up the final frame heroics.
Skylar Hall, who had one of Quitman’s six hits on the night, opened the bottom half of the seventh by coaxing a walk. Hallie Kate Pullig followed with a sharp ground ball to short that was misplayed giving Quitman two on with nobody out. On the first pitch, the pair executed a beautiful double steal, and then both advance again on a passed ball that plated Hall to tie the game and put Pullig on third. After a groundout, up stepped Guyotte.
The Lady Wolverines couldn’t have wanted a better situation at such a critical time of the game. Guyotte leads the team with a .610 average and boasts a north Louisiana leading 19 home runs and 53 RBI and already she had gotten a hit and drawn a walk. Conventional wisdom dictated that she should get a free pass but instead, Jena rolled the dice. Guyotte made folly of the decision to pitch to her by stroking a single to center to give Quitman the “walk-off” win.
2B – Brymer
HR – Deal
RBI – Guyotte, Deal
RS – Hall, Pullig, Deal
SB – Brymer, Hall, Pullig