Pelham softball team finishes regular season 2nd in area play

Published 4:31 pm Monday, April 17, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers will enter the area tournament as a two seed after completing the regular-season sweep of Briarwood on Friday, April 14 in a 12-run road win.

Pelham, who lost both regular-season games to Helena, needed the two wins to earn the two seed in the area tournament, and while it’s only a number with another matchup against Briarwood determining who will advance to the postseason, it was a confidence boost for the team.

With the two wins over the Lions, Pelham has now won six consecutive games and seven of eight with the regular season winding down and the area tournament on the horizon.

Following a 7-2 win over the Lions earlier in the week, Pelham came right back three days later with an even more dominant effort, scoring 16 runs in five innings to pick up a shortened 16-4 victory.

The Panthers totaled 18 hits and gave up just seven on their way to the 12-run victory.

That offensive success was important in the win, as they scored four in each of the first two innings and in three of the first four innings. Outside of those three four-run innings, Pelham scored two in the third and fifth to total the 16 runs.

McKenzie Little was a big reason Pelham was able to build up the lead thanks to a strong first three innings in the circle. After the team earned her a four-run cushion in the top of the first, she was flawless through the first three innings, giving up no runs in that span.

Briarwood did put up four runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Little got out of the inning and finished her night by striking out seven and allowing four runs on six hits and a walk.

Jessica Gray came in to finish off the final inning, striking out two and giving up one hit with no runs or walks allowed in her one inning in the circle.

Their combined pitching effort paired perfectly with a strong effort at the plate that was led by Gray, who finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored thanks to a home run, a double and a single.

Beyond her, Little also finished with three hits, driving home two runs, while Jordan Howard and Emery Plunkett each finished with two hits and one RBI. Rebecca Roy added three RBIs on a triple, while Ryann Jones and Shelby Grace Bailey each finished with two hits. Taylor Howard and Gabrielle Talbert also had a hit and run scored in the win.