ND Lady Wave

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lady Wave falls to Marshall

By Brad Greer

The North Delta fastpitch softball team suffered its first loss of the 2007 season  as visiting Marshall Academy blanked the Green Wave 4-0 Thursday afternoon  in non-district action.

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Casey Gibson handcuffed the Lady Green Wave on four hits while walking only one batter in six innings of work. Melanie Gaters started the game in the circle for the Wave and went 2.1 innings before being relieved by Samantha Massoth. Each hurler gave up a pair of unearned runs and two hits each.

 North Delta left five runners on base in the first two innings while making three crucial errors that led to all but one of the Marshall runs.

After the Patriots jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Bradi Beard drew a leadoff walk. Following a Laci Dubravec’s sacrifice bunt that advanced Beard to second, Courtney McCullar blooped a single over third to put runners on the corners with one out. Gibson regrouped and got cleanup hitter Lauren Tidwell and Victoria Johnson to fly out to end the inning.

North Delta, (5-1 overall, 4-0 district) threatened again in the bottom of the second inning but once again came away empty-handed. After a leadoff single by Gaters, Massoth laid down a beautiful bunt that Patriot third baseman Lauren Alexander threw into right that allowed Gaters to advance to third. Gibson again escaped trouble by retiring the next three batters.

“We stranded five base runners early in the game, but the girls as a whole hung in there and gave themselves a chance to win against a very good pitcher. Marshall has got a very good team. We just hurt ourselves with some errors,” said assistant coach Preston Lawrence who was taking the place of head coach Brooke Turner, who was absent due to a death in the family.

Marshall added three runs in the top of the third for a 4-0 lead. Traci Rodgers and Heather Tomlinson singled with one out. Rodgers later scored on Anna Roberts’ fielder’s choice. Tomlinson and Roberts scored on an error and a groundout.

The Patriots lead could have been more in the fourth inning if not for a pair of outstanding running catches by Green Wave center fielder Victoria Johnson.

“Vicki is a tremendous edition to our program and our school. She is a great athlete and a great student and has done an outstanding job for us,” said Lawrence.

McCullar had a pair of singles to lead North Delta at the plate while Gaters and Linsey Hebert also recorded singles.

 Marshall also won the JV contest 8-5. North Delta returned District 1-1A play Monday at Delta Academy.

The Lady Green Wave will play host to West Memphis, (Ark.) today at 4 p.m. followed by a rematch with Marshall at Holly Springs on Thursday at 4 p.m.