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WSN varsity softball stuns TRM 5-4 Wednesday

For the first time ever, the W.S. Neal Lady Eagle softball team defeated the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers 5-4 Wednesday at the Brewton YMCA Sports Park.
Trailing the Lady Tigers 3-0 after three innings, W.S. Neal rallied with two runs in the sixth inning and three in the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the final inning.
W.S. Neal held T.R. Miller to one run in the seventh to get the win by one.
“This was a hard fought win for the Lady Eagles,” W.S. Neal head coach Jeff Haney said. “It took some time for the bats to come around but we made some good adjustments and really hit the ball well the last couple of innings. Kaitlin (Hadaway) did a good job pitching the entire game. Our defense made a few mistakes, but we made the plays when we had to have them.”
Haney said the heart of his batting order of Paige Grantham, Lauren Boatwright, and Autumn Hinote really stepped up and came through for the team when they needed it most.
“This game was huge for our girls,” he said. “The Neal/Miller rivalry is big in all sports. This is a win that our team has worked toward for a long time. I’m just really happy for our players. Our program really needed this win. I think it really sets the tone for the remainder of the year. To beat a team that is one of the top 15, 3A programs shows that we are not to be taken likely. It is a mental hurdle for our players that they have finally cleared. What I’m really happy about is that we were able to get this win, and we didn’t play as well as we are capable of playing. That tells me this was no fluke.”
T.R. Miller took a 1-0 lead over W.S. Neal when Leah Brundidge, who reached base by being hit, advanced to third and scored on a stolen base.
In the third inning, T.R. Miller was able to plate two more runs to take a 3-0 lead. Audrey Hamric scored on a passed ball after reaching base on a triple and Taylor Guthrie scored on a single by Takeysia McFugerson.
In the sixth inning, W.S. Neal was able to cut the lead to 3-2 after Paige Grantham and Lauren Boatwright both scored. Grantham reached base on a single and scored after Boatwright’s triple. Autumn Hinote then doubled to score Boatwright.
Boatwright pushed W.S. Neal ahead in the seventh inning, and the lead lasted until the final out. Hadaway walked to start the seventh. She then went from second to third on an error. Finally, Boatwright came to the plate with the score tied at three, and doubled, bringing home Hadaway.
T.R. Miller scored one run in the seventh on a groundout by Kelsey Thompson, but T.R. Miller wasn’t able to take the lead back as the Lady Eagles won by one.
Hadaway racked up nine strikeouts over seven innings in the win and allowed five hits, four runs, two earned, and hit three batters.
KeKe Floyd was 1-for-4 with one run scored and Hadaway had a walk and scored one run. Grantham was 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI and Boatwright was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs. Autumn Hinote was 2-for-4 with one RBI and Anna Nelson was 1-for-2 with a walk.
T.R. Miller’s Kristin Booker was perfect at the dish, going 3-for-3. Booker singled in the second, fourth, and sixth innings. Hamric was 1-for-4 with a triple and Leah Brundidge was 1-for-2. Taylor Guthrie was 1-for-3 with a double and McFugerson was 1-for-4 with one RBI. Kelsey Thompson had one RBI in the loss.
Laurel Billy took the loss on the mound going seven innings allowing eight hits, five runs, four earned, walked three and struck out four.
“It was a tough loss,” T.R. Miller Lady Tiger head coach Greg White said. “Every loss is a tough loss. So we will deal with it and move on to the next game.”
The Lady Tigers will not have to wait long for their next game and it will be against W.S. Neal as the two teams are scheduled to play the first game of the Escambia County tournament Friday at JDCC at 4 p.m. The game will be the third game this season between the two rivals.
Earlier in the year, T.R. Miller rallied to beat W.S. Neal in the championship game of the T.R. Miller Invitational 6-4. W.S. Neal’s win Wednesday evens the season series between the two teams at 1-1.
With the win, W.S. Neal improved their record to 9-9 while T.R. Miller fell to 13-3.