Lady Tigers wipe out Abbeville, close in on state tourney berth
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
New territory can sometimes be a little frightening. Instead it was T.R. Miller Lady Tigers softball team, who turned in a frightening performance Tuesday when they ambushed the Abbeville Lady Yellow Jackets 10-3 and 18-0 in five innings at Tuesday's Class 3A Sub-State Round held at the Brewton YMCA Park.
The victory enabled the Lady Tigers (16-6) to make their deepest advancement ever in postseason. The victory in the first game also enabled them to break their school record for wins in a season. The 2002 team had previously owned that distinction with 14.
"That's two great accomplishments for this group. It's important from the immediate standpoint, of course, but it's also important in the long run because we've only got three seniors. The rest of our players are getting a lot of valuable postseason experience which will benefit them down the road," T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs said.
Tuesday's victory sent the Lady Tigers into Saturday's second and final sub-state round against Montgomery Catholic. The winner of that best of three series advanced to the state tournament. The state tournament gets underway May 13 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. The T.R. Miller-Montgomery Catholic winner will play the Danville-Colbert County survivor in the opening round.
The Lady Tigers showed few flaws in their destruction of Abbeville. In addition to the fact they outscored the Lady Yellow Jackets 31-3, they outhit Abbeville 30-5. They also took advantage of five errors from the visitors and committed just one of their own.
"If you can get good pitching and play well in the field, you're usually going to give yourself a chance to win," Riggs said.
The Lady Tigers have a lengthy list of hitting heroes. Senior centerfielder Jamie Peacock may have been at the top of that list with four singles, a double and two RBIs. Rightfielder Erin Byrne muscled up for a pair of singles, a triple, a homer and seven RBIs. Catcher Terri Lynne Peacock had a single, two triples, a homer and four RBIs. Shortstop Leigh Cooper and pitcher/leftfielder Rebekah Neal also had four hits on the day.
"Terri Lynne was probably the one who really got us going in the first game (where she had two triples, a homer and three RBIs). However, Erin really had a big day as well. She has really come on with her hitting in recent games," Riggs said.
Just as dominant was T.R. Miller's pitching. Neal came within two outs of not only a no-hitter, but a perfect game in the opener.
The Lady Tigers were in position to finish off the game on the 10-run rule with a 10-0 lead in the opener. A single by Anderson ruined both the perfecto and no-no. Moments later an error and two walks forced in a run to break up the shutout as well. It also forced the Lady Tigers to play the full seven innings in order to get the win.
T.R. Miller started to build its lead in the second inning when RBI singles by Courtney Krehbiel, Byrne and Emily Layton made it 3-0.
A single by Jamie Peacock, an RBI triple by Terri Lynne Peacock and an RBI single by Halie Ellis made it 5-0 an inning later.
In the fourth inning, T.R. Miller doubled that lead to 10-0 with a five-run outburst. Singles by Layton and Cooper started the rally, while RBI singles by Jamie Peacock and Neal and a two-run homer by Terri Lynne Peacock finished it.
The Lady Tigers were even more dominant in the nightcap. Ellis topped Neal's three-hitter from the first game with a two-hitter. Meanwhile her team's offense mashed out 16 hits to go along with the 18 runs.
T.R. Miller grabbed the lead in the top of the first inning (as the visiting team) and never relinquished it.
Singles by Cooper and Jamie Peacock set up an RBI single by Terri Lynne Peacock .
T.R. Miller busted the game open with a nine-run explosion where it sent 12 batters to the plate. Byrne started the scoring with an RBI triple and ended it with a three-run homer.
The Lady Tigers had just one other RBI hit in that frame, an RBI double by Jamie Peacock. Abbeville added more fuel to the fire with three errors.
Byrne picked up her fifth and sixth RBIs of the game in an eight-run fourth inning that made it 18-0 with a two-run single.
Abbeville 000 012 0 – 3 3 0
T.R. Miller 032 500 X – 10 14 1
T.R. Miller 190 80 – 18 16 0
Abbeville 000 00 – 0 2 5
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