The Upson-Lee Lady Knights entered their region showdown with Stockbridge on Tuesday with a four-game winning streak. The Lady Knights tried to make it five in a row last Friday at Dutchtown, but with a 1-0 lead in the second inning, mother nature took over and the game was postponed.
Tuesday was a chance for the Lady Knights to move to 2-0 in region play, and things seemed bright for UL through the first four innings of the game. However, a late rally from the Lady Tigers of Stockbridge brought the Lady Knights’ winning streak to a halt, with Stockbrdige defeating Upson-Lee by an 8-4 score.
The Lady Tigers (6-0) entered the game undefeated on the season, but the Lady Knights (5-4) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs in the opening frame, UL senior shortstop Demeshia Russell blasted a triple to right-center field. Russell came home to score on a RBI base hit by Hannah Watson. Chelsea Wainwright followed with a double, but both Wainwright and Watson were left stranded on base, a scenario which happened too often for the Lady Knights on Tuesday.
Upson-Lee sophomore Crystal Spoon toed the rubber for the Lady Knights, and retired the first six batters she faced. With Spoon pitching brilliantly, the Lady Knights added to their 1-0 lead in the third inning with a little help from the Lady Tigers’ shaky defense.
Watson led the inning off, reaching base on an error, followed by Wainwright, who would also reach on an error, with Watson scoring on the play. A third consecutive error by Stockbridge allowed Kaylee Ellington to reach base. With a 2-0 lead, Rachel Bridges drove home Wainwright with a ground out to second base. The Lady Knights failed to add more runs to their 3-0 lead with runners on base, leaving them stranded once again.
It seemed as if the Lady Knights were dominating the Lady Tigers, but only led 3-0. Leaving runners stranded on base can come back to hurt, and that’s exactly what happened to Upson-Lee. Spoon pitched a scoreless fourth inning, but it was in the fifth inning, Spoon’s third time through the Lady Tigers order, where the Lady Tigers’ bats woke up.
In the fifth, the Lady Tigers’ began to find holes in the Lady Knights’ defense. Stockbridge did not hit the ball extremely hard, but they hit the ball where the Lady Knights were not. Spoon pitched well in the game, allowing no walks in her five innings pitched, but the Lady Tigers’ bloop hits continued to fall. After a four-run inning, the Lady Knights made a pitching change, bringing in Wainwright. The Lady Knights’ defense let them down in the inning, as Stockbridge took a 7-3 lead, and eventually earned the 8-4 victory.
The Lady Knights took on Harris County on Thursday, but the results were not available by press time. Look in Tuesday’s edition for a full game recap.