Trust and unselfishness of the Madison Southern Lady Eagles was on full display Monday night in the 44th District Championship game.
With the game tied at 2 in the top of the sixth, the Lady Eagles found themselves in a pickle as the Lady Indians of Madison Central had the bases loaded with no outs. It was then starting pitcher Tessa Juett showed some unselfishness and had a conference with Coach Abbey Stepp who elected to make a pitching change.
“I made the pitching change to give a different look to the hitters,” Stepp said. “Tessa said, ‘The next player has been hitting me and I just want to win. I made the change and Kayla was confident with her pitches and trusted it and did a great job getting out of the inning.”
Kayla Pigg was up to the challenge, and proceeded to fan three Indian batters in a row to preserve the tie.
Up to that point in the game, Southern (25-8) struggled a bit at the plate, but Stepp trusted her team, and had a feeling they would rise to the occasion. In the bottom of the sixth, Juett delivered an RBI-double to give the Lady Eagles their first lead of the contest. Samantha Cornelison added an RBI-single to score Juett to put Southern up 4-2 going into the final inning. From there, Pigg and the Lady Eagles defense put together a 1-2-3 inning, with Pigg striking out the final two batters and picking up the win in relief.
Juett pitched 5 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and striking out five Lady Indian batters. Pigg pitched two innings, while striking out five.
Southern was led at the plate by Cornelison who went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Alicia Venter went 2-for-3, while Pigg went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Juett added an RBI off her double, and also scored twice.
In the first game of the district tournament, Southern dispatched Berea 13-3. Berea’s Malyah Penn had a three-run double in the top of the first, but the Lady Pirates could do very little after the opening frame.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning, Zaria Carter tied the game with an RBI-double that scored Kennadi Story to tie the contest. Southern then tacked on two more runs and took a 6-3 lead into the fourth. In the fouth inning, the Lady Eagles added five more runs, coupled with two runs in the sixth inning for the final margin of victory.
Carter finished with two hits for Southern. Payton Griffith finished with two hits and three RBIs, while Pigg added a pair of RBIs. Pigg also struck out 5 batters.
Madison Howell recorded two hits for the Lady Pirates (10-11).
Eagles slip past Berea, fall to Central in district play
The Madison Southern Eagles (15-14) won a nail bitter Saturday afternoon with a 7-6 win over the Berea Pirates (11-17).
When the dust settled, Britten Robinson settled the matter with a walk off hit in the bottom of the ninth. Titus Haskins led Southern on the mound as he gave up 6 runs, just two earned, off five hits. Kruise Newman finished the game with 2 RBIs for Southern. Berea’s Zane Brown led his team both on the mound and at the plate. Brown lasted 6 2/3 inning, allowing three hits and striking out seven. At the plate, Brown went 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs.
Both Southern teams advance to the 11th Region tournament this weekend. Times and location were not announced prior to press time.