Curtain comes down on Lady Tigers
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Playing a tough opponent with revenge on its mind on the road figured to be a huge road block for the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers.
The Lady Tigers did not make many mistakes, just enough to lift the host Montgomery Catholic Lady Knights to 6-2, 6-0 sweep in Saturday's Class 3A sub-state second round played in the capital city.
Montgomery Catholic's series win avenged a sub-state series loss to the Lady Tigers a year ago back in Brewton.
T.R. Miller (18-11) was shut down most of the day by sisters Abby Beesley in game one and Amanda Beesley in game two.
Abby Beesley allowed just a second inning double by Emily Layton and a sixth inning walk to Haley Rilling until the Lady Tigers finally got to her in the top of the seventh inning.
In that seventh inning, Leigh Cooper and Terri Lynne Peacock led off with back-to-back doubles that finally got T.R. Miller on the board. Beesley was able to retire Erin Byrne and Emily Layton, but Leslie Nalty nicked her for an RBI infield single that produced what turned out to be the Lady Tigers final run of the season.
Prior to T.R. Miller's late rally, Montgomery Catholic (22-13) was able to scratch its way to a 6-0 lead during the game's first five innings.
Abby Beesley reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the first inning and scored after back-to-back groundouts by Lauren Vercelli and Jenna Golsen.
Abby Beesley helped herself in an even bigger way in the third inning. After Heather McGinn was hit by a pitch, Beesley touched T.R. Miller pitcher Halie Ellis for an RBI triple. Vercelli followed with an RBI bunt single that took the Lady Knights' lead to 3-0.
Montgomery Catholic picked up its second unearned run of the game in the fourth inning when Jennifer Tudor reached on an error and scored on an RBI single by McGinn that made it 4-0.
An RBI single by Vercelli and an RBI double by Amanda Beesley in the fifth inning took that lead to 6-0.
Game two followed a similar pattern. Once again, Montgomery Catholic scored an unearned run in the opening inning. This one was the result of a two-out infield error after an infield single by Vercelli and a double by Golson.
The Lady Knights took that lead to 3-0 in the third inning when Abby Beesley doubled, stole third and scored on an RBI single by Vercelli. Vercelli later scored when Amanda Beesley reached on a fielder's choice.
Montgomery Catholic extended its lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning against Lady Tigers pitcher Leigh Cooper when Abby Beesley tripled and Vercelli singled her home. After a walk to Golson, Amanda Beesley drilled an RBI single.
The game's final run scored in the sixth when Olivia Veres reached on an error and Vercelli picked up her third RBI single of the game and sixth hit of the day.
Much like the opener, T.R. Miller had few scoring chances against Amanda Beesley in game two.
Ellis had a one-out double in the first inning and Taelor Robinson had a one-out single in the third inning. Cooper led off the fourth inning with a single and Emily Layton did the same in the fifth, but both were erased in double plays. Byrne concluded her high school career with a two-out single in the seventh.
T.R. Miller 000 000 2 – 2 4 2
Montgomery C. 101 120 X – 6 8 0
Montgomery C. 102 021 0 – 6 13 0
T.R. Miller 000 000 0 – 0 5 3