Long ball ends Lady Tigers season
Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Sara Allen gave the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers reason to fear her arm - but not her bat - in the first two games.
The LAMP Lady Tigers catcher, who picked two runners off third base, more than made up for it in Monday's decisive game three of the Class 3A sub-state round with three homeruns and seven RBIs in a 12-4 victory.
The win sent LAMP (12-16) into the state tournament for the first time and denied T.R. Miller its second trip to the state tournament in three years.
Allen was hitless in six at-bats and did not even hit the ball out of the infield in the first two games. Allen gave LAMP a lead in would not relinquish in the top of the first inning with a solo shot off Leslie Nalty. Allen widened LAMP's lead to 3-0 with a two-run shot in the third inning. T.R. Miller cut that gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the third with RBI singles by Terri Lynne Peacock and Leigh Cooper, but Allen finished off the Lady Tigers with a grand slam that capped off a six-run top of the fourth inning that made it 9-2.
While it was game three that officially ended T.R. Miller's season, it was a 6-2 loss in game one that haunted the Lady Tigers throughout the day.
T.R. Miller took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning of the opener when Cooper walked, went to third on a double by Catherine Layton and scored on a groundout by Emily Layton.
Cooper had LAMP shut out on one hit through three innings, but the opposing Lady Tigers nicked her for a pair in the fourth inning. Those hits led to the tying run when Jennifer Taylor singled and Hillary Stevens delivered an RBI double.
LAMP took a 4-1 lead with what proved to be three decisive runs in the fifth. Caitlin Oliver led off the frame with a walk. Cooper fanned Aleissa Davidson, but Lacey Hill reached safely on a throwing error after a sacrifice bunt. That set up an RBI single by Lauren Smith, an RBI groundout by Allen and an infield single by Taylor.
Taylor, who struck out 10 T.R. Miller batters in game one, allowed just four hits. Two of those came in the sixth when Nalty singled and scored on a double by Cooper that cut LAMP's lead to 4-2. Cooper was left stranded in scoring position and T.R. Miller never got another runner past first base the rest of the game.
T.R. Miller (18-7) kept its season alive and tied its school record for on-the-field wins in a season set by the 2004 and 2005 teams with its 9-5 win in game two.
After being shut down by Taylor in game one, T.R. Miller lashed out 15 hits in game two.
The Lady Tigers needed most of those hits. They built a 5-2 lead over the first two innings on the strength of an RBI triple by Catherine Layton in the opening frame and RBI singles by Nalty and Peacock in the second inning.
LAMP caught the Lady Tigers at 5-5 with an unearned run in the top of the third and two bases loaded walks in the fourth.
Emily Layton put T.R. Miller back in front in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run double that made it 7-5. Nalty's third hit of the game and fifth of six hits on the day, an RBI single, made it 8-5 in the fifth. Rachel Bostic added an RBI groundout in the sixth.
In addition to her hitting, Nalty relieved Cooper on the mound with two outs in the fourth innings. She promptly shut out LAMP on just two hits over the last three and one-third innings.
Despite the fact his team was eliminated by a squad that entered the day five games under .500 for the season, White said LAMP's record was deceiving.
T.R. Miller 010 001 0 – 2 4 1
LAMP 000 130 X – 6 6 1
LAMP 111 200 0 – 5 10 1
T.R. Miller 230 211 X – 9 15 1
LAMP 102 600 3 – 12 12 2
T.R. Miller 002 020 0 – 4 8 2