Ea­gles ad­vance

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KEVIN NIXON news@cov­news.com


The East­side High School Ea­gles soft­ball team ad­vanced to the sec­ond round of the Class AAAA play­offs with a 10-6 win against the vis­it­ing Perry High School Panthers Thurs­day.

The Ea­gles (20-9) didn’t waste any time jump­ing on the score­board first. By the end of third in­ning they led 4-2. In the top of the fourth in­ning East­side se­nior Ally All­good reached base with a sin­gle and stole sec­ond base after a late throw. She tried again mo­ments later to steal third, but was not suc­cess­ful and she was tagged out. The bot­tom of the fourth in­ning was a good one for East­side’s se­nior pitcher, Lau­ren Bes­hears. Bes­hears al­lowed a sin­gle but a ground out, pop fly and fi­nally a stolen base out got the Ea­gles out of the in­ning. The fifth in­ning started with a pop-fly, fol­lowed by a walk by se­nior third base­man Alyssa Betts. She was left stranded with pop-fly and a ground out end­ing the in­ning.

The bot­tom of the fifth in­ning was per­haps Bes­hears’ best. She got the first bat­ter to pop fly into left field for an easy out, fol­lowed by two con­sec­u­tive strike­outs. Each mem­ber of the Ea­gles lineup stepped to the plate in the sixth in­ning. Se­nior Molly Moon sin­gled to the short­stop who couldn’t han­dle the ball and bob­bled it al­low­ing Moon to get to first base. All­good fol­lowed Moon’s hit with a sin­gle of her own. With a run­ner in scor­ing po­si­tion and one on first base, se­nior Ash­leigh Wil­liams dou­bled into cen­ter field get­ting a RBI in the process. Fresh­man Kai­ley Rusk kept the hit­ting streak go­ing with an­other dou­ble driv­ing in two run­ners be­fore she was tagged out. Se­nior Ka­cie Fincher sin­gled in the in­ning be­fore the Lady

Ea­gles would leave three stranded go­ing into the bot­tom of the sixth.

Go­ing into the bot­tom of the sixth, the score was 7-2 Lady Ea­gles. Bes­hears had her ups and downs in the in­ning. The Panthers (13-17) started off with a dou­ble but fol­lowed it up with a pop-fly out. With a run­ner on third, Bes­hears struck out the next bat­ter mak­ing it two outs with a run­ner on third. With an er­ror on a pitch, the Lady Panthers score again mak­ing it a four­run game. Bes­hears got out of the top half of the sixth with a pop-fly out to cen­ter field. The top of the sev­enth started in the ex­act same or­der of the sixth. Se­nior short­stop Tay­lor Baggett sin­gled into left field. All­good sin­gled mak­ing it two run­ners on base and Wil­liams gets a RBI dou­ble bring­ing in Baggett. Rusk con­tin­ued with the hot bats and sin­gled mak­ing the bases loaded. Se­nior Alyssa Betts had an RBI sin­gle in the in­ning giv­ing the Ea­gles their last score of the night.

The bot­tom of the sev­enth was a strug­gle for Bes­hears. Two walks and a pop-fly out came from the first three bat­ters. A sin­gle caused the bases to be loaded, and the next bat­ter, Bes­hears bat­tled as the bat­ter fouled off nu­mer­ous pitches. A ground­out came of it, but a run scored. The Panthers fought with ev­ery pitch foul­ing sev­eral of them out of play be­fore get­ting a cou­ple of sin­gles that scored a run a piece. The Panthers rally seemed to be heat­ing up even more after an­other sin­gle, but fi­nally Bes­hears threw a strike­out to end the in­ning and the game.

When asked about the se­niors, coach Wood said “They came through for us this game. I think they had pres­sure on them to per­form well, es­pe­cially since we didn’t get off to the right track the 1st game. I have 9 of them, which works in our fa­vor in these sit­u­a­tions,I was proud of them and how they were able to come through for us tonight. “The Lady Ea­gles were in con­trol most of the game, but they had to hold off a late rally. Coach Wood didn’t worry, she ac­tu­ally liked to see the Lady Ea­gles get through a rally, es­pe­cially in the play­offs. When asked about Bes­hears’ clos­ing, coach said,“It got shaky, but you know, the play­offs you are go­ing to be in sit­u­a­tions like that, glad it went our way, but we haven’t been in po­si­tions like that, so it helps us be re­silient.” The Lady Ea­gles will soon know their op­po­nent for the next round, but we know it will be a home game.

Bryan Fazio | The Cov­ing­ton News

Lau­ren Bes­hears al­lowed two hits dur­ing East­side’s first win in the series agianst Perry Wed­nes­day.

Bryan Fazio | The Cov­ing­ton News

The East­side Ea­gles scored plenty of runs in their first-round vic­tory against Perry in the Class AAAA play­offs this week.

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