It’s was a lethargic day offensively for Sonoraville against the Bremen Lady Blue Devils, who secured two victories over the Lady Phoenix to capture the third-place Region 6-AAA series sweep on Wednesday afternoon.
The Lady Phoenix (16-15) batters managed to scatter a handful of hits throughout Game 1 of the doubleheader, but overall the lineup failed to get into a groove in a 4-1 loss.
Despite the defeat, Sonoraville shortstop and leadoff specialist Harleigh Chastain posted a superb statline, finishing 4-for-4 and nearly hitting for the cycle with a triple, double, two singles and the squad’s lone RBI in the final inning. Catcher Sandra Beth Pritchett and pitcher Kristen Davis also contributed solid outings at the plate, knocking through a single and double each.
Davis experienced some struggles with her command in the early going, issuing three walks in the first few innings and gifting Bremen (19-12) its first run by hitting a batter with the bases loaded as a result.
She settled in from that point forward and kept the Lady Blue Devil hitters off balance most of the afternoon, but the difference in the game proved to be the timeliness of Bremen’s opportunistic lineup.
Bremen scratched across its second run with an RBI-single from infielder Shelby Daniel when outfielder Abby Akins reached on a hit and stole a base in the fourth, added another run when infielder Ragan Folds singled in outfielder Haley Cook in the fifth and tacked on another run on another single by Folds in the seventh to pad the lead.
Davis finished the Game 1 allowing three runs over five innings. She did produce a lot of whiffs by striking out five Bremen batters. Kelsey Hughes entered the game in relief in the sixth and closed the game out.
The Lady Blue Devils turned to Ashlinn Garner on the mound, who chipped in a consistent complete-game performance with six strikeouts.
“I was a little disappointed with our performance in the first game because it seemed like we were going through the motions,” Sonoraville head coach Chad Hayes said. “You have to give Bremen credit, they made excellent defensive plays and were aggressive at the plate, and that was ultimately the difference in the two teams today.”
Game 2 followed a similar script to the first contest, with scarce offensive production from both sides. However, Bremen was able to once again capitalize on chances in clutch situations to top the Lady Phoenix 4-0.
Even though the Sonoraville lineup provided no offensive insurance, pitcher Alyssa Hughes took over for Sonoraville in the circle and contributed a solid five innings of work by striking out three batters and allowing four runs over five frames.
Hughes attempted to help her own cause by going 2-for-2 at the plate, registering two singles. Grace Fitzwater, Payton Townsend and Emma Garland also contributed singles in Game 2 for the Lady Phoenix.
Bremen enjoyed a stellar performance from Kristen Green, who struck out seven batters during seven scoreless innings pitched and provided her own support by smacking a solo home run in the fifth. Caitlin Smith also came up big for the Lady Blue Devils, finishing 3-for-3 with two doubles, a single, stolen base and an RBI.
“We just weren’t disciplined at the plate,” Hayes said. “We were taking strikes and swinging at pitches that weren’t strikes, and that is not a recipe for success. They got runners on in the second game, got them over and got them in, and we didn’t when we needed to.”
“Going into State, we have to work on changing our approach to the plate. We also have to get some of our starters healthy. But overall I know we have the talent to win games, and we are looking forward to the next one.”
The series loss hands the Lady Phoenix the Region 6-AAA No.4 seed going forward into the state tournament. They will square off with the No.1 seed from Region 5-AAA on the road next Wednesday for a first-round doubleheader. If a Game 3 is necessary, it will be played Thursday.