Archive for Thursday, May 19, 2011

St. James softball earns 4A state berth

May 19, 2011

The best softball season in St. James Academy history will last for one more week.

The Thunder won the first Class 4A regional championship in program history Tuesday in Baldwin by beating Baldwin 3-2 in the semifinals and then hammering Santa Fe Trail 7-0 in the finals.

St. James took charge early in the finals and never relinquished control of the game. Jess Buie and Kayleigh Wilson hit back-to-back singles to start the game, and then Kristen Lock drove them in with a triple.

The Thunder added to their lead in the third thanks to the same trio of players. Buie led off with a single and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wilson. Another Lock triple brought home Buie and stretched the lead to 3-0.

By then, pitcher Christy Perkins was in full control. She tossed a two-hit shutout.

With Perkins dominating on the mound, St. James continued to pull away. Buie opened the fifth inning with a double and Lydia Budke followed with a double. Lock followed with her third triple of the game, scoring both runners. Lock later scored and the lead grew to 6-0.

St. James tacked on another run in the sixth when Perkins singled and later scored on a Santa Fe Trail error.

The championship game was far less stressful for St. James than the semifinal against Baldwin. That game came down to the Thunder’s final at-bat.

Buie pitched for St. James and Hayley Schwartz threw for Baldwin. The duo dazzled on the mound. Buie worked a no-hitter through four innings and Schwartz scattered just two hits.

The game was scoreless entering the fifth. Then Baldwin took the lead. Morgan Burton led off with a single, Hailey Cope walked and both moved up on a ground ball by Kaitlin Jorgenson. Burton then scored on a single by Kaysha Green for a 1-0 Bulldog lead.

Baldwin stretched its lead to 2-0 in the sixth when Karlee Beach scored on a single by Cope.

St. James rallied in the bottom of the sixth.

The Thunder scored twice and tied the game at 2-2. Kayleigh Wilson doubled to left and then moved up on a base hit by Budke. Wilson scored on a wild pitch, and Budke scored on a sacrifice fly by Lock.

In the seventh, Caroline Lipp led off with a single and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Perkins. Carly Triggs followed, and she reached on an error as Lipp moved to third. Then Lipp scored the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly by Cydney Barrick.

Perkins, who relieved Buie in the fifth, shut down Baldwin down the stretch.

A full recap of the series is in the work. Please check back soon to shawneedispatch.com.

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