COVINGTON -- The Albany softball team continued showing its offensive prowess this season, scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning on its way to a 16-3, five-inning win over East Jefferson on Friday at the Northlake Christian tournament.
The Springfield Lady Bulldogs were not as fortunate, as they were unable to hold onto to a two-run lead late, falling to host Northlake Christian 6-5 in eight innings.
The teams continue play Saturday in the tournament, with Springfield facing East Jefferson at 11 a.m. and Albany taking on Pearl River at 1 p.m. The rivals will then face off at 5 p.m. to conclude the round-robin tournament.
ALBANY 16, EAST JEFFERSON 3
The Lady Hornets fell behind 1-0 in the first inning and 3-2 in the third inning before exploding for their big fourth inning to put away the Lady Warriors.
Kaci Payne led the way for Albany, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Annalea Giamalva pitched a complete game, two-hitter and struck out three for the Lady Hornets.
Albany’s fourth inning started with Abbie Spring drawing a four-pitch walk. Rayanne Ridgel singled and Savanna Bourgeois put down a sacrifice bunt and beat the throw to first to load the bases.
An error by East Jefferson in the outfield on a hit by Meridith Cleveland scored one run and the Lady Hornets scored another on a sacrifice fly by Shelby Cannon, making the score 5-3 with two outs.
Payne then singled to left to score two and the rout was on. Spring knocked in two runs with a single in her second at-bat of the inning, while Ridgel and Bourgeois combined for three RBIs on two singles following Spring’s at-bat. Bourgeois finished the scoring in the inning when she scored on a wild pitch, but the Lady Hornets had sent 15 batters to the plate against EJHS.
Payne said getting out to a big lead doesn’t keep the Lady Hornets from doing their jobs.
“We just settle down and do what we are supposed to do and watch the pitcher so we can get the timing down and put the ball in play,” Payne said.
With a 12-3 lead, Giamalva settled in, sitting down the next six batters, striking out two of them. The Albany offense added four runs in the fifth, three of which came on a botched pickoff play to first by the EJHS catcher with the bases loaded, allowing all three Albany baserunners to score.
Albany coach John Legoria said while he was pleased with the way his team put the game away in the middle of the contest, he looks forward to the time when Albany can score enough early to secure a win.
“For some reason the last few games early it looks like we haven’t picked up a bat, and then all of the sudden we can’t get out,” he said. “I don’t like that because I like to get out early, but a win is a win, and you take it and move on to the next game."
NORTHLAKE CHRISTIAN 6, SPRINGFIELD 5 (8)
After not being able to solve NCS starting pitcher Kera Grace Watts for most of the first three innings, Springfield overcame a 3-1 deficit, scoring once in the fourth and once in the sixth to send the game to extra time.
Tied at 3-3 in going to the eighth, the teams played with international softball rules, placing a runner on second to start the inning.
Springfield wasted no time, as Hallie Morris moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on an infield single by Tabby Lobell. After Lobell stole second, Caliegh Steele bunted her over to third and then Lauren Price did the same to score Lobell, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 5-3 lead.
Northlake Christian started its half of the eighth with Morgan Manillo on second. Corrin Hebert sacrificed her to third and beat the throw to first.
Watts then singled home Manillo to cut the lead to 5-4 before Adrianna Williams banged a double to left field to score two runs and give the win to the Lady Wolverines.
Springfield was led at the plate by Lobell, who finished 2-for-4 with two singles, and RBI and a run scored. Amber Traylor pitched a complete game for Springfield, striking out four and giving up eight hits.
Springfield coach Ashley Ledet said while there were some positives in the loss, mistakes killed the Lady Bulldogs.
“We did our jobs offensively and put the ball in play and got runs across the board,” she said. “But in the bottom of the eighth and early in the game, we had (some) errors, and that’s where you give up runs.”
Northlake Christian 6, Springfield 5 (8)
SHS 001 101 02 - 5 4 6
NCS 003 000 03 - 6 8 1
Amber Traylor and Cheyenne Morris. Kera Grace Watts and Alexis Ray. W - Watts. L - Traylor. 2B: NCS - Watts, Adrianna Williams, Gabe Dufrene, Ray, Clea Davis. Records - Springfield 6-8. Up next - Springfield vs. East Jefferson, 11 a.m., Saturday and Springfield vs. Albany, 5 p.m., Saturday.
Albany 16, East Jefferson 3 (5)
Albany 002 (10)4 - 16 11 2
EJHS 102 00 - 3 2 6
Annalea Giamalva and Rayanne Ridgel. Emma Schuble, Morgan Aleman (5), Madeline Ezell (5) and C. Macaluso. W - Giamalva. L - Schuble. 2B: AHS - Kaci Payne. Records - Albany 9-4. Up next - Albany vs. Pearl River, 1 p.m., Saturday and Albany vs. Springfield, 5 p.m., Saturday.