(UPDATE) ELCA 10, Brookstone 5: Brookstone drops second game to fall to losers bracket at state tourney

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerOctober 31, 2013 

In two games on Thursday at the state softball tournament, Brookstone played 13 solid innings. It was the one poor inning, however, the sent it into the loser’s bracket to begin play on Friday.

After winning its opener against First Presbyterian Day, Brookstone fell 10-5 to Eagle’s Landing Christian in the nightcap of the Class A private tournament at South Commons softball complex. As a result, it will play the winner of George Walton and Savannah Christian at 1 p.m. Friday.

Lady Cougars coach Nate McConnell was disappointed in the result and, particularly, the troublesome inning, but said he was encouraged overall.

“We just had one bad inning,” he said after the loss. “We’ll bounce back, though. (Eagle’s Landing) is well-coached and quick, but I think we were good enough to play with them.”

For six of the seven innings, they were.

If not for a nasty fourth inning in which Brookstone committed four errors and allowed seven runs, it would have been a different game.

Eagle’s Landing catcher Casey Durham led off the inning with a single. She moved to second on a fielder’s choice, which didn’t result in an out, and a passed ball put runners at second and third with nobody out. Brooke Echols drove in the first run with a single and the second came in to score because of fielder’s interference.

Then, the wheels fell off. A fielder’s choice brought in the third run and three errors in the next four batters brought in three more to make it 6-0 with only one out in the inning. A single and an error brought in the seventh and final score before Brookstone was able to stem the bleeding. The majority of the mistakes occurred when Eagle’s Landing was trying to lay down a bunt.

“At some point, we just let it get away,” McConnell said. “I told them, we just kept putting a quarter in the merry-go-round. We had to find a way to get an out.”

Finally, they did and were able to put a couple runs on the board in the sixth to close the gap a little. Elle Turner drove in a run with a double, and KayLynn Church hit an RBI single to make it 7-2. Two singles and two home runs in the Eagle’s Landing’s next half inning, though, extended the gap to 10-2.

The Lady Cougars finished the game on a high note with Isabel McCluskey knocking a two-run home run and Helen Snavely hitting a solo shot to cut the final margin to 10-5.

“We just started too late,” McConnell said. “We found our approach too late.”

Lost in the shuffle were two solid appearances by Helen Snavely, who got the win in the opener, a 3-1 victory over First Presbyterian Day. She pitched seven innings in that game, allowing just a single unearned run and striking out six. Taylor Roos and Caroline Sparks each notched RBIs in the opener.

In order to make it to Saturday’s finals, Brookstone must win the 1 p.m. game Friday, again at 5 p.m. Friday and one more at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Thursday at South Commons

Game 1

FPD 000 001 0—1 4 2

Brookstone 010 002 X—3 6 1

WP—Helen Snavely. LP—Carli Sutton. Team Leaders: Brookstone, KayLynn Church 2-3, 2 Rs, Taylor Roos 1-2, RBI, Caroline Sparks 1-4, RBI.

Game 2

ELCA 000 703 0—10 9 2

Brookstone 000 002 3—5 8 4

WP—Chanel Newcomer. LP—Helen Snavely. Team Leaders: Brookstone, Isabel McCluskey 1-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 Rs, Snavely 1-4, HR, RBI, R, Elle Turner 2-3, 2B, R, KayLynn Church 1-3, RBI, Taylor Roos 2-3. Next: Brookstone, 1 p.m. Friday vs. George Walton/Savannah Christian.

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