Jemison’s lead short-lived in loss at West Blocton

Published 11:40 am Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jemison's Brooke Lewis swings at a pitch during Wednesday's game at West Blocton.

Jemison’s Brooke Lewis swings at a pitch during Wednesday’s game at West Blocton.

By Trey Hickman | Special to the Advertiser

Jemison’s varsity softball team grabbed the lead in the fifth inning Wednesday at West Blocton, but it was short-lived as the hosts won, 8-5.

Trailing 4-1 in Class 4A, Area 7 action, Jemison churned out five hits in the top of the fifth, including run-scoring singles from both Wendy Spigener and Jessica Paschal.

That pair of hits sandwiched a throwing error by West Blocton that resulted in two other runs for Jemison. With runners on the corners, Morgan Lucas laid down a sacrifice bunt, leading to an overthrow at first base that brought home Spigener and Jasmine Epperson.

Down 5-4, the Tigers charged back behind a two-run double from Crislyn Graham, tallying a trio of runs in the home half of the fifth to go ahead 7-5.

West Blocton tacked on another run in the sixth while pitcher Sarah Lippeatt — who relieved Tigers starter Chloe Deerman — retired all six batters she faced over the latter two innings.

“I’m proud of the way the girls (played),” Jemison coach Nathan Hayes said. “Fifth inning, we came out and we got after it, and I think this game showed that we can go out and compete with West Blocton going into (the) area tournament next week. I feel good with our chances going into the tournament next week.

“We just have to push through and finish, so that’s my big thing I’m stressing is finish out and close out these close games.”

Up 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Graham and Brittney Gardner each singled in a run as West Blocton plated three to extended its lead.

Jemison finally got on the board in the fourth when Emily Spain’s single drove in Brooke Lewis, a precursor to the Panthers’ breakout fifth, though Hayes and his crew ultimately fell.

Jennifer Paschal took the loss for Jemison, surrendering five hits and seven runs (five earned) while walking three and striking out two in five innings of work.

Spigener paced the Panthers’ offense, going 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.

Spain drove in a run as part of her 1-for-2 day while Epperson went 2-for-3 and scored a run. Jessica Paschal had an RBI of her own while Lewis also netted a run.

Lucas and Madison Moore each scored as Jemison fell to 14-12 overall and 1-5 in Class 4A Area 7.