Monday, April 30, 2012

SPORTS >> Lady Bears stay perfect, beat Monticello

Leader sportswriter

The Lady Bears softball team is still perfect in conference play after beating Monticello 10-6 and 5-2 in a 5A Southeast doubleheader Thursday at the Sherwood Sports Complex.

Monticello (18-6, 8-4) provided a lot of help for Sylvan Hills (17-5, 10-0) early in game one as the Lady Billies walked seven batters in the first two innings, and committed seven errors.

Conversely, Sylvan Hills pitchers Tyra Williams and Michelle Sorenson combine to strike out eight, walk zero, while the defense made no mistakes.

“Well, we got off to a sluggish start,” said Sylvan Hills coach Jeff Johnson. “I didn’t like that.
 We finally came together towards the later innings. We did what we needed to do by stringing together a couple of hits.”

Sylvan Hills had plenty of opportunities to score in the opening inning of the first game, but only managed one run.

The Lady Bears started connecting at the plate in the second inning, scoring three runs, but Monticello put two runs on the board their next at bat to cut the Lady Bears’ lead to two.

The Lady Bears scored one run in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Monticello kept it close, adding three runs during the stretch.

In the top of the seventh, Sylvan Hills added two more runs to push its lead to 10-5, its biggest lead of the day. Monticello was able to score with two outs in the final inning, but Sylvan Hills lead was too much to overcome. Sorenson and Williams led Sylvan Hills at the plate in game one as each went 3 for 4.

Monticello got off to a much better start in game two and led 2-1 after two innings. The lead didn’t last long. Sylvan Hills got back on top with a two-run home run from Tranice Hayes that sailed over the fence in left field.

It was the second home run of the day for Hayes, who hit a solo shot to straight center in game one.

Errors came back to haunt Monticello in the fourth inning of game two as Williams hit a fly ball to left center that was dropped by the centerfielder.

Williams was able to hustle her way to second on the drop. Two batters later, Hayes hit a hard grounder to third, but the throw to first was off. Williams was able to round third and score on the passed ball to give the Lady Bears a two-run cushion.

Hayes later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jordie Flippo hit a line drive to right field that sent Hayes home to give Sylvan Hills the 5-2 lead. Williams started both games, but pitched all seven innings of game two and struck out four while not giving up a single walk.

“Both pitchers came in and did what they needed to do,” Johnson said. “I was about to make a third change at pitcher, but Tyra, she came back in the second game and she was on a roll.

When she got hot, I told my other pitcher that we’re going to go with the hot hand. As long as she’s hot we’re going to stay with her, and she finished strong.”

Hayes, Alex Tessman and Darrin Flippo led Sylvan Hills with two hits apiece in game two.

Sylvan Hills will host White Hall Tuesday in a doubleheader that will decide the 5A Southeast Conference champion.