Turner hits pairof home runs
By DAVID MITCHELL
In a crucial game for both Brookstone and Pacelli softball teams, it was a pair of Lady Cougars who rose to the occasion.
Pitcher Sydney Weaver tossed four innings of no-hit ball and Elle Turner hit two home runs to lead Brookstone to a 12-0 mercy-rule shortened win at Pacelli on Wednesday.
KayLynn Church, who pitched the fifth inning, didn't allow a hit to complete a combined no-hitter for Brookstone.
The win was a crucial "mental victory" for Brookstone (17-10, 6-2 Region 4-A), according to coach Debbie Ball, as the Lady Cougars prepare to face Schley County in their next game.
"We're in the middle of three tough games in a row," she said. "Mentally, it's a big win."
Brookstone got it started right away, scoring five runs in the top half of the first inning.
Isabel McCluskey singled to lead off and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Taylor Timmons. Weaver followed with a double to drive her in and then Turner reached on an error. Kali Spitzmiller, Caroline Sparks and Jessica Lewis followed with consecutive hits, Lewis' a double, to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Lady Cougars added two more in the second, three in the fourth and two in the fifth.
Three of those runs came off the bat of Turner.
After Weaver reached on an infield single to lead off the fourth inning, Turner cranked a two-run home run deep over the left field fence. It was her first homer of the outside-the-park variety this season.
She didn't have to wait long for her second.
In the next inning, with two outs and one run in (on a McCluskey inside-the-park
home run), Turner found another pitch and hit it over the fence in nearly the exact same spot to bring the Brookstone lead to 12-0.
"I just found a couple of high, inside pitches," said Turner, who called it her best game of the season at the plate. "I was looking outside, but I knew I had quick enough hands to get around on the inside, too.
"It felt really good. Just for confidence and everything."
The home runs padded the Lady Cougars lead, but it was a lead that, as it turned out, was in safe hands.
Pitcher Weaver hardly faltered the entire game.
She pitched four innings, forcing a handful of popouts and preventing the Pacelli hitters from ever really getting into a groove.
Her only blemishes came in her fourth and final inning of work when she walked back-to-back batters with two outs. Church relieved her in the fifth, striking out two and walking one to complete the no-hitter.
"It definitely raises our confidence," Weaver said of the performance. "It helps in the region and then coming up on state."
For Pacelli (11-10, 5-3), coach Lonny Arrington said his team needs to execute the little things better going forward.
"We can't make errors," he said. "They've plagued us all year long. If you make the simple plays, it makes things a lot easier."
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571
Wednesday at Pacelli
Brookstone 520 32 --12 11 0
Pacelli 000 00 --0 0 4
WP-- Weaver (8-6). LP-- Tally. Hitting leaders-- Brookstone, McCluskey 2-4, HR, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Turner 3-4, 2 HRs, 4 runs, 4 RBIs. Records-- Brookstone, 17-10, 6-2; Pacelli, 11-10, 5-3. Next-- Brookstone, today at Schley County; Pacelli, today vs. Marion County.