Baucom in the circle, McRaney at the plate helps Purvis cruise past Lady 'Cats
SUMRALL – The Lady Tornadoes traveled to Sumrall wanting some revenge Wednesday evening. They lost two games to the Lady Bobcats last season, which kept them out of the playoffs in 2016.
While Purvis had a slow start, it turn it on in the fourth inning to score six runs, then added seven more in the sixth to defeat Sumrall 13-2 in six innings.
“It was a big win for us, especially starting out in the division against a team that swept us last year and really put us out of the playoff hunt,” Purvis head coach David Entrekin said. “I thought we had a good team last year, but Sumrall beat us in two tight games, and it was good to come out here after a slow start and kind of rebound.”
The Lady Tornadoes fell down 2-0 to Sumrall, but they were getting hits and leaving runners on base. Purvis had five runners left on base through the first three frames, so Entrekin didn’t panic with his offense.
In the top of the fourth, Gracey Baucom led off the inning with a single, then Kadie Hale doubled to score the courtesy runner. Anna-Claire Barrett bunt-singled to put runners on the corners with one out, and Lily Curtis executed a perfect bunt-squeeze play to score Hale and tie the game at 2.
“I happened to have some of my better bunters at the plate, and some of my better base runners on the base,” Entrekin said “We really had a couple of options on the bunts. Some veterans who execute some plays made it look good. I felt good with my strong bunters up, and my strong base runners at third. They just made it happened.”
Barrett and Curtis then scored on the same passed ball to give Purvis a 4-2 lead, and Donna Slade and Kalli McRaney crossed the plate later in the inning after they walked and singled, respectively. McRaney and Ashlyn Lawler collected those final two RBI.
In the top of the sixth, seven of the first eight batters scored to extend the Purvis lead to 13-2. Slade, McRaney, Baurom and Gracie Cluff all recorded hits in the inning, and six Lady Tornado batters were walked or hit by a pitch. Purvis sent 13 batters to plate in the frame, too.
The visiting team totaled 13 hits in the contest and they walked seven times.
“I felt like we were going to hit,” Entrekin said. “We left a couple of runners on, and if we kept plugging away, I felt like we’d hit. It was good to get that big inning in and give our bats a little more confidence. We felt good for the rest of the game.”
McRaney led the Purvis offense at the plate, as she was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, and Curtis, Baucom, Hale and Cluff had two-hit performances each.
On the bump, Baucom overcame a slow start to dominate the Sumrall batters. She allowed two runs – one earned – on five hits while striking out six Lady Bobcats.
“Gracey battled,” Entrekin said. “She was a little off to start off the game, but she’s a good pitcher and found her way a little bit. She settled in and let her defense play for us.”
Sumrall scored its two runs in the first and second innings, as Abigail Thexton reached on an error in the first to score on a Kaitlyn Russell single, then Mallory Holland scored when Rachel Green grounded out in the second.
Russell was 2-for-3 from the plate with a single, double and an RBI to lead the Lady Bobcats from the dish.