Bowling Green comes back late in victory

Published 9:00 am Friday, August 1, 2014

Not every win is picture perfect, but teams will take as many victories as they can get.

Bowling Green missed opportunities throughout Tuesday’s game against Brookhaven Academy (1-2), but with the pitching of Cailee Fruge, a late comeback and good defense except for one inning, Bowling Green put its name in the win column with a 4-3 victory in eight innings.

Fruge, who is only a freshman, pitched like a senior. She threw a complete game, allowing just one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

“She was unbelievable,” Bowling Green coach Pat King said about Fruge.

“They scored one run when we missed a spot, the two-out double hurt us when they scored it. I’ll give them that one,” King said. “The other two were unearned, two errors at third base and then we made an error at shortstop. We make those routine plays, you’re talking about she may have given up one or two hits in eight innings. That’s very impressive. I was very pleased with her effort.”

Fruge, who said her outside fastball was working the best, felt like she did well.

“I could work on some better things, but overall, I think I did well tonight,” Fruge said.

Besides those three errors, which occurred in the third inning, Bowling Green’s defense was spotless.

The miscues led to the two unearned runs and a 2-0 deficit for the Lady Bucs (1-1), which they came back from in the bottom of the third.

Offensively, the Lady Buccaneers had runners all over the bases throughout the game, but had trouble pushing runs across. The Lady Bucs had at least two runners on base except in every inning except the sixth when they were retired in order.

Bowling Green left 12 runners on base, eight in scoring position. A lot of that occurred over the first two innings when the Lady Buccaneers had six base runners. One was thrown out trying to steal second and the other five were stranded. Four of them were left in scoring position.

But even with that, Bowling Green scored just enough runs and Fruge’s pitching kept the team in the game, gave them a chance and they took advantage.

The Lady Buccaneers did not lead at any point until the most important part of the game, the end.

They trailed 3-2 after six, but mounded a rally in the seventh to even the contest at 3-3.

Katelin Junkins singled and moved to second on Allie Jenkins’ sacrifice bunt. Mason Edwards and Fruge followed by walking and getting hit respectively to load the bases. Kristina Jarrell was next and she grounded out to first, but in the process drove Junkins, who was carrying the tying run. It was 3-3 after seven.

That forced the game into extra innings where they went to the International Tiebreaking Rules, meaning the player who made the final out of the previous inning, began on second and everything else was just like normal.

Brookhaven’s runner stole third on the first pitch and then Fruge went to work.

She got the next two hitters to pop out to short and third respectively before getting a groundout to third to end the frame.

Bowling Green’s first out came on the runner being thrown out at third, while trying to advance on a ball in the dirt with runners on first-and-second.

McKinley Seal, who was at first after reaching by getting hit by a pitch, advanced to second when the first out was made.

With Holly Waskom hitting, the ball hit the dirt and Seal took off for third.

The throw was low and got by the third baseman. It deflected off of the third baseman’s glove and the base and rolled into foul territory near the fence in short left field just past Bowling Green’s dugout. Seal took off for the plate. The throw came in. She beat the play and scored the game-winning run for the 4-3 victory.

Coach King said his team made some mistakes, but added that games like this early in the year are good.

“We start two seventh graders (Jenkins and Allie McCain) and two ninth graders (Fruge and Madison LaSalle). We’re very very young,” King said. “For the second game of the season, to have a little adversity where nothing really went right. Even the runs we gave up were unearned. To find a way to crawl back, tie it up and then get another run means a lot.”

King said his team did some good things and said he was happy with the way his club fought back.

Trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the third, Bowling Green tied things up.

Waskom tripled to left and scored on Junkins’ RBI single and the deficit was cut in half at 2-1. Jenkins reached on an error.

Edwards attempted to bunt, but it was caught by the catcher, but a throwing error to allowed Junkins to reach third.

Fruge reached on an RBI fielder’s choice, forcing Jenkins at second, but Junkins scored to even the game at 2-2.

Brookhaven took the lead in the third when Alex Rae Smith singled and then scored one batter later on Cameron Watson’s doubl to left.

Watson was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple, but she had given her team the lead.

It stayed that way until the seventh when Bowling Green retied the game on a fielder’s choice before the winning crossed in the eighth on a throwing error. Bowling Green finished with eight hits, led by Junkins, who had three singles and an RBI. Waskom singled and tripled, while Seal, LaSalle and Edwards all singled.

Bowling Green begins a busy stretch of the schedule. This weekend the Lady Bucs are at Amite School Center before playing in the Copiah Tournament tomorrow. Aug. 4 begins a three game homestand against Oak Forest Academy Aug. 4, Ben’s Ford Christian School the following day and Central Private Aug. 7.