Franklinton holds the rope in playoff victory

Published 3:12 pm Friday, April 19, 2019

Franklinton coach Leslie McGhee said her team talked about “holding the rope and don’t let it go” prior to Tuesday’s Class 4A regional round home playoff game against Franklin Parish.
The Lady Demons held the rope, overcoming an early run and losing a 3-1 lead from a two-run homer, but Franklinton hung tough and broke a 3-3 tie with two in the fifth inning to win 5-3.
“We talked about before this game, holding the rope and don’t let it go and that’s a team we needed to hold the rope (against) and if one player lets go, then the whole team’s falling. So we had to hold the rope the whole game and that’s exactly what we did,” Franklinton coach Leslie McGhee said.
The game was tied 3-3 through four innings when fifth-seeded Franklinton, which led earlier, retook the lead, and this time for good.
Brylie Fowler led off the fifth by coaxing a walk. After the first out, Ashlan Ard doubled along the right field line.
Kiersten Allen put the Lady Demons in front by lifting a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Fowler with the go-ahead run that later proved to be the winning score. Albanie Fussell gave Franklinton an insurance run when she singled home Ard to make it a 5-3 game.
After that, Aleigha Fussell continued what had already been a solid outing with two more scoreless innings to secure the 5-3 victory. She went the distance, allowing three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
Franklinton advances to the quarterfinal round to play fourth-seeded Beau Chene. The game is Saturday, April 20, at 4:30 p.m. Beau Chene has 2019 playoff victories over 29th-seeded South Lafourche, 12-1, and No. 20 Neville, 7-2, in the regional round.
Tuesday’s game featured several lead changes and the Lady Demons hung tough and pulled out the victory.
No. 12 Franklin Parish took a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Kiara Clark doubled with one out and scored two batters later on Abbie Williams’ RBI double.
Franklinton rebounded in the first inning, and like the fifth, it was Fowler getting the rally started.
Fowler walked. After the first out, Ard singled to right center, sending Fowler to third. Ard stole second. Allen tied the game 1-1 with an RBI single, plating Fowler. Albanie Fussell was next and she put the Lady Demons in front with a two-run double to left centerfield, sending Ard and Allen home and Franklinton had a 3-1 lead.
“Gotta get on base,” Albanie Fussell said, about her two RBI hit. “We need some runs.”
Franklin Parish tied things in the third. With one out, Clark singled. Kaylee Martin was next and she belted a pitch over the left centerfield wall. It was a no-doubt two-run homer that tied the game at 3-3.
After the homer, Aleigha Fussell came back strong. She retired the next six hitters she faced, and over the final 4-2/3 innings, she allowed just two hits and a walk while gave up no runs.
Offensively for Franklinton, Albanie Fussell recorded two hits, one for a double, and she drove in three runs.
Ard went 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
Fowler doubled, drew two walks and scored two runs.
Allen singled, had two RBIs and scored a run.
Bailey Brooks singled.
Franklin Parish’s Clark had three hits and two runs scored.
Martin hit a two-run homer to go with a single.
Williams recorded an RBI double. Katelyn Thrasher singled.
Both teams played an errorless game.