Franklinton loses first district game as Lakeshore scores late

Published 4:21 am Friday, March 15, 2013

Franklinton’s first district loss was a tough one, as the Lady Demons lost a 5-2 lead through 5.5 innings and had a 6-5 setback to Lakeshore on the road Tuesday.

Lakeshore (4-10, 2-0) tied things with three in the sixth before holding Franklinton (8-5, 2-1) scoreless in the seventh.

Lakeshore’s Caitlyn Carroll opened the Lady Titans half of the seventh by reaching on a two-base throwing error. Marlee Thompson grounded out to shortstop, advancing Carroll to third. Franklinton coach Leslie McGhee decided to intentionally walk Ashley Zitzmann and Sydney Keller to set up a force at every base. That brought Nicole Ferrera to the plate. Against a drawn-in infield, she took an 0-1 pitch to right field for a walk-off single, sending Lakeshore to victory.

Ferrera said it was a fastball.

“I was kind of nervous,” Ferrera said. “Everybody was counting on me, but I pulled through at the end.”

Lakeshore coach Richard Glory said it’s a big win.

“It’s our second district game and our second win (18-13 over Pearl River in the league opener), but we haven’t been playing good. We’ve had a lot of injuries and pitching’s been struggling,” Glory said.

Most of the runs came in the first two innings.

Lakeshore took a 2-0 lead in the opening frame with a one-out rally. Marin Thomas singled, and Carroll doubled her to third before Thompson plated both runners with a single to center.

Franklinton responded with four in the second to go ahead 4-2.

Khristian Capo doubled before advancing to third on a passed ball. She scored on Darrien Dykes’ RBI double. Courtesy runner Jordan Ignacek stole third. After the first out, Carly Shipley put down a bunt. The fielder attempted to tag Ignacek, who was attempting to score. Ignacek was tagged with the glove and not the ball, which was in the fielder’s bare hand and was ruled safe to tie things 2-2.

A wild pitch allowed Shipley to take second and then Austen Felder put FHS in front with a run-scoring single to right. Baylee Mixon’s sacrifice bunt moved Felder to second. Haley Sanford made the move payoff with an RBI single and it was 4-2.

Pitching and defense took over until sixth, as the teams combined for just four base runners from the bottom of the second through the fifth.

Franklinton tacked on a run in the sixth. Capo walked to begin. Dykes forced Capo at second before Laken Spears moved courtesy runner Ignacek over with a bunt. Shipley had an RBI single before Felder and Mixon both singled to load the bases. The Demons couldn’t add anymore to their 5-2 lead and were in front by three as the clubs played the bottom of the sixth.

LHS had the middle of its order coming up and took advantage by evening things. Carroll singled and then Thompson reached on an error. Zitzmann’s RBI single trimmed it to 5-3. Keller walked to load the bases. Ferrera coaxed a run-scoring walk and Rachael Hunter sent the tying run home with an RBI groundout and it was 5-5 after six.

“They had some errors in that inning, and it just cost us big,” FHS coach McGhee said. “Some things we need to work on definitely for when they come to us (March 28). We’re coming up short in the end, and we’ve got to stay tough through the whole seven innings.”

FHS couldn’t tally the go-ahead run in the seventh, and Lakeshore posted the winning run with one out.