Lady Wave softball

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 26, 2008

North Delta courtesy runner Erin Snider slides safely into home Thursday to avoid a shutout. North Delta lost to Marshall 2-1. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Lady Waves fall to Marshall 2-1

By Brad Greer

After defeating Marshall 1-0 in the Kirk tournament earlier this season, Thursday’s rematch between the Lady Patriots and North Delta had all the makings of another defensive struggle.

With their ace pitcher Lauren Alexander in the circle, Marshall scratched across a pair of runs in the fourth inning for a 2-1 victory over the Green Wave.

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Both Alexander and North Delta left-hander Samantha Massoth both gave outstanding performances, as Alexander was perfect through the first four innings, before giving up her first base hit with one out in the bottom of the fifth.

Massoth meanwhile came on in relief of North Delta starter Mary Jane Morrow in the third and pitched five strong innings, giving up five hits, striking out three while giving up a pair of runs.

Marshall, the AA state runner-up from a year ago, improved to 10-3 while North Delta saw their record fall to 8-6. The two teams will meet again for the third time Thursday at 4 p.m in Holly Springs.

The Patriots threatened to get on the scoreboard first as they put runners on second and third with no outs in the second, but Morrow got out of the jam on a strike out and a pair of pop ups to end the inning. Morrow gave up a pair of singles and fanned three in two innings of work.

Casey Gibson and Chelsey Gillen singled off of Massoth to start the fourth inning for Marshall. Following an illegal pitch that advanced both runners one base, Mallory Covington beat out a single in front of home plate that scored Gibson for the first run. Robyn Bryant chased home Gillen with a RBI single to center.

That would be enough run support for Alexander as the righty retired the first 13 batters she faced before running into trouble in the fifth when Massoth broke up the perfect game with a one-out single.

Morrow then doubled to score courtesy runner Erin Snider to cut the lead in half. Julianna Morrow and Lauren Kimzey then singled to load the bases, but could not get the tying run across as Morrow was forced out at home on a Morgan Lawrence fielders’ choice.

Leadoff hitter Vicky Johnson hit a soft liner back to Alexander to end the inning.

North Delta put runners on first and second in the fifth on back-to- back singles by Laci DuBravec and Bradi Beard, but Alexander struck out Massoth and got Morrow to fly out to retire the side.

The Green Wave recorded six hits in the game while stranding six runners on base in the last two innings.

North Delta returns to district action today at 5 p.m at West Memphis, Ark. The Lady Waves are currently 2-0 in district play after last Tuesday’s 15-3 romp over Marvell, Ark.

Johnson led North Delta at the plate by going 4-for- 5 that included her second grand slam home run of the season. DuBravec also went a perfect 4-for-4 offensively while Massoth and Sara Waldrip added a pair of hits.