Westview own worst enemy in late tourney exit
Posted: Friday, May 11, 2012 12:00 pm
The official record will read that Westview’s 2012 softball season ended at the hands of Covington.
More accurately, it ended at the Lady Chargers’ own hands.
Four errors led to four unearned runs and a late rally came up just short as Westview suffered a season-closing 5-4 defeat to Covington Wednesday night in the District 13AA Tournament at Dyersburg.
The Lady Chargers, who’d bought themselves another game earlier in the day with a 4-1 victory over Obion Central, finished the season with a 21-9-1 record.
Both of Westview’s postseason losses came vs. Covington, though, and Wednesday’s exit from the 13AA event ended a run of five straight years of advancing to at least the regional semifinals with the Lady Chargers winning at least 28 games in each of those campaigns.
And the final setback of the season was of the gut wrenching variety.
Westview not only opened the door for all of Covington’s runs with throwing errors, but also lost two runners on the basepaths and another at home plate.
“We’d talked about beforehand that the team that made the fewest errors, got the big hit and capitalized on its scoring chances would be the one that advanced and Covington did that — we didn’t,” first-year Westview coach Jessica Hightower said afterward.
“I was proud that we fought back and we had a great rally in that last inning, but it came up just short.”
The Lady Chargers lose just one senior from this year’s squad, second baseman Holly Morris.
Covington 5, Westview 4
Covington scored its runs on just two hits — capitalizing on two errors for a pair of tallies in the fourth and two more Westview mistakes for a three-run sixth.
Westview, which outhit Covington 10-2, threatened in six of its seven at-bats, but twice made poor baserunning decisions in running into outs, and had another run cut down at the plate while trailing by four runs.
Westview did not go down without a fight, though.
Kayla Bryant’s bases-loaded single unloaded the bags after the Covington centerfielder misplayed the ball for an error, leaving Bryant at second base with the tying run after Kayla Guthrie and Meagan Prince had scored to cut the difference to 5-4.
Junior Gabby Glenn relieved her sister Autumn, though, and fanned Alex Crosser — the hero of Westview’s Game 1 victory over Obion Central — to bring down the curtain on Martin’s season.
Prince had three hits, including a double, while Holly Morris doubled twice and Kayla Guthrie had two singles for Westview. Crosser also had a two-base hit.
Prince struck out 13 and walked just one, but contributed to her downfall with a wild throw to first that allowed Covington’s first run to score.
Westview 4, OC 1
Crosser — the daughter of the Lady Chargers’ head coach — smacked a bases-loaded double with one out in the seventh into the leftfield gap to break a scoreless tie and send Westview into the loser’s bracket finals in Wednesday’s first game.
The Lady Chargers, who had 11 hits to just three for OC, had stranded runners in scoring position in four of the previous six frames before Crosser’s blast chased home Guthrie, Prince and Bryant — the latter of whom had been issued an intentional walk to jam the bags after Guthrie and Prince had singled and moved to third and second, respectively, after a fielder’s choice ground ball.
Westview then tacked on an insurance run when Crosser scored on a passed ball.
The Lady Chargers had prevented Central from scoring first in the bottom of the sixth when a failed squeeze attempt with one out and runners on second and third resulted in Peyton Robertson being tagged out at home.
Prince struck out four, walked two and gave up just three hits to claim the pitching victory — the last of a stellar season for the junior southpaw.
Westview 4, Milan 0
Prince was nearly perfect.
The Westview hurler retired 12 straight batters to begin the game and had faced the minimum number of Milan batters through 61⁄3 innings before giving up a one-out triple in the top of the seventh.
She then finished with two strikeouts, her 12th and 13th of the game, to send the Lady Chargers into the loser’s bracket finals against Obion Central on Wednesday.
Westview’s lineup gave Prince more than enough run support with two runs in the third inning and then an additional run in both the fourth and fifth frames.
Guthrie reached on a bunt to start the third inning and then came around to score on Bryant’s two-out base hit.
Bryant then came around on Crosser’s double up the middle.
Guthrie scored again in the fourth after reaching on an error, and Kendall Harrison, running for Bryant scored in the fifth for the Lady Chargers.
Bryant finished with two hits. Published in The WCP 5.10.12