COVINGTON -- After a weekend of softball at the Northlake Christian tournament, Albany and Springfield made a few things quite clear.
One is the Lady Hornets are quite good. Two, the Lady Bulldogs could be as well, but they will have to establish some depth.
The teams squared off in the finale of the round-robin event Saturday, with Albany taking a 14-0, five inning run-rule victory as the Lady Hornets finished the tournament 3-0. Albany beat East Jefferson 16-3 on Friday and topped Pearl River 13-0 on Saturday. All three games ended early because of the mercy rule.
Springfield concluded the weekend 1-2, getting its win Saturday in dramatic fashion by topping East Jefferson 16-13 in a game that saw the Lady Bulldogs come back from a 13-4 deficit in the fourth inning to get the victory. Springfield’s other game was a 6-5, eight-inning loss to host Northlake Christian on Friday.
Albany 14, Springfield 0
In the final game of the tournament, Albany continued a theme for the entire tournament - scoring runs and lots of them.
The Lady Hornets scored at least two runs in all five innings, highlighted by a five-run 2nd inning. Albany got five hits in the frame, including a lead-off double by catcher Rayanne Ridgel, RBI singles by Heather Dagenhart and Shelby Cannon and a two-RBI single by Annalea Giamalva.
Ridgel finished finished the game 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored. Dagenhart and Kaci Payne also had two hits for the Lady Hornets.
Brittany Turner was stellar in the circle for Albany, throwing all five innings and giving up just one hit. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Ridgel, who at 5 feet tall is one of the smallest catchers in the area, said the success at the tournament will do nothing but help the Lady Hornets as the year progresses.
“It just boosts our confidence,” Ridgel said. “We know we are a good team, but sometimes we have off days. We know when we start hitting the ball, though, there is no stopping us.”
Ridgel also praised her pitching staff, which included Turner and Giamalva during the weekend’s play.
“Both of our pitchers are phenomenal,” she said. “Brittany has really good heat and Annalea has really good spin on the ball, so I am just lucky to be catching for both of them.”
Albany coach John Legoria said he had no complaints about the weekend play of his team.
“This was a great weekend for us,” Legoria said. “We lit the bats up today and did an outstanding job of jumping on teams early and doing what we were supposed to do.
“Pitching was great and I am proud of my ladies. They did exactly what they needed to do."
Springfield coach Ashley Ledet said she was proud of her team’s effort for the whole tournament.
“Albany is pretty good, but on any given day, I feel we are just as good as them,” she said. “We’ve got a team of 10 healthy players, but they’re still out there fighting.”
Both teams are back in action Monday, with Albany hosting Independence and Springfield traveling to French Settlement.
Springfield 16, East Jefferson 13
In what turned out to be the best game of the tournament, Springfield fell behind 13-4 after giving up eight runs in the top of the fourth inning, but the next three innings proved fruitful for the Lady Bulldogs.
Springfield got its first run in the bottom of the fourth on and infield single by Tabby Lobell with the bases loaded, cutting the lead to 13-5.
After a fly out by Caleigh Steele, first baseman Lauren Price pounded the first pitch she saw over the left field fence for a grand slam to cut the EJHS lead to 13-9.
After scoring one run in the fifth on a passed ball, Springfield got six more in the sixth. Lobell led off the inning with a solo home run,while Bree Saxon had a two-RBI single as did Madison Huszar. The other run for the Lady Bulldogs scored on a wild pitch.
While Springfield’s pitching combination of Amber Traylor and Lobell gave up a lot of runs, Ledet said she was happy with the way the Lady Bulldogs came back in the game.
“We definitely did will and fought hard,” Ledet said. “We put so much heart and energy into this game, but that is how we have to play - one game, one win at a time.”
Lobell said the Lady Bulldogs never gave up despite the big deficit.
“We knew that we just needed to hit the ball and get a rally going,” Lobell said. “If we started hitting, they are contagious. “Through all the hits, we played good defense and came out with a win.”
Lobell said she didn’t know if the ball she hit for a home run was going to clear the fence, but that didn’t matter.
“I told myself that I didn’t know if it was going over, but I was scoring if it went over or if it hit the ground,” she said.
Albany 13, Pearl River 0
Giamalva and Turner combined for another shutout, combining to give up just four hits, while striking out eight total, including five by Turner.
Offensively, the Lady Hornets struck big early, scoring seven in the bottom of the first inning as they sent 11 batters to the plate. Dagenhart had a walk and a two-RBI double in the frame, while Turner knocked in two runs with a single and Payne plated a run with an infield hit.
Payne finished the game with three hits, including a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. With Albany up by such a big margin late, Legoria was able to play some of his younger players, and Camryn Woods contributed with a triple in the bottom of the fourth inning.
SPRINGFIELD 16, EAST JEFFERSON 13
East Jefferson 005 800 0 -- 13 11 1
Springfield 202 516 x -- 16 14 1
Ezell, Schuble (6), Alleman and Macaluso. Amber Traylor, Tabby Lobell (4), Traylor (4) and Cheyenne Morris. W - Traylor. L - Schuble. 2B - EJHS: Smith, Macaluso, Schuble; SHS: Caleigh Steele, Bree Saxon, Traylor. HR: Lauren Price, Lobell. Records: Springfield 7-8.
ALBANY 13, PEARL RIVER 0
Pearl River 000 00 -- 0 4 1
Albany 733 0x -- 13 12 0
Alligodd and Este. Annalea Giamalva, Brittany Turner (4) and Rayanne Ridgel. W - Giamalva. L - Alligood. 2B - PR: Alligood 2; Albany: Heather Degenhart, Kaci Payne, Turner. 3B: Giamalva, Camryn Woods. Records: Albany 10-4.
ALBANY 14, SPRINGFIELD 0
Albany 252 32 -- 14 12 1
Springfield 000 00 -- 0 1 4
Brittany Turner and Rayanne Ridgel. Amber Trayor and Cheyenne Morris. W - Turner. L -- Traylor. 2B: Albany -- Ridgel. Records: Albany 11-4, Springfield 7-9. Up next: Independence at Albany, 4:30 p.m. Monday; Springfield at French Settlement, 5:30 p.m. Monday.