Pelham comes from behind for 10-run win over area foe Briarwood

Published 7:23 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The Pelham Panthers went into spring break on the right note as they went into Briarwood Christian School and overcame a five-run deficit to secure a statement win.

Pelham defeated the Briarwood Christian Lions 15-5 on Thursday, March 21 as it scored 14 straight runs to take the road win in area play.

A leadoff walk and a single put two runners on with no outs for the Panthers in the top of the first, and they capitalized to get on the board early.

Jordan Young hit a one-out single to bring Laini Stewart home off an error, and Pelham took the 1-0 lead in the process.

However, in the bottom of the frame, back-to-back errors set up Briarwood for success at the plate.

With two outs and a 2-1 count, Meredith Kellum hit a three-run home run to put the Lions up 3-1.

Pelham couldn’t capitalize on a bases-loaded opportunity in the top of the second, and each team had a one-two-three inning after that going into the bottom of the third.

Taylor Forrester hit a leadoff single to start the frame, but after McKenzie Little earned a three-pitch strikeout, an error and an intentional walk loaded up the bases for Ashley Heinemann.

While she grounded out to short, Forrester came home to extend the lead to three.

During the next at bat, a passed ball allowed Larsen Cummings to come home and put Briarwood up 5-1.

However, that would be the last run of the game for the Lions as Pelham surged back in a big way soon enough.

After Jessica Gray hit a one-out single in the top of the fourth, Briarwood walked a pair of batters to fill up the bases. Shelby-Grace Bailey then hit an RBI single to kick off five straight scoring plays for the Panthers.

Jordan Howard hit a sharp single to right to plate a pair of runs, a Young groundout allowed Bailey to score, an error allowed Roy to reach third and Howard to score and Taylor Howard hit an RBI single of her own to put the Panthers up 7-5 not long after they trailed 5-1.

After Young struck out the side in the bottom of the frame, Gray got into scoring position in the top of the sixth with a leadoff double.

While the next two batters got out, Bailey singled to keep the inning alive and bring up Jordan Howard.

The senior hit a line drive to right and turned on the jets to secure the three-run inside-the-park home run and increase the lead to 10-5.

The Panthers once again loaded up the bases in the top of the sixth off a Roy single, Taylor Howard double and a walk.

The next two batter were called out, but a bases loaded walk and three straight RBI singles by Bailey, Jordan Howard and Young put Pelham up 14-5.

The Panthers then finished off the scoring in the top of the seventh with a Gray RBI single to earn the 15-5 win.

Bailey finished the game 5-5 with two RBIs and two runs. Gray went 4-5 with two runs and one RBI and Jordan Howard had six RBIs on a 3-5 day with two runs, including her inside-the-park home run.

Young earned the win with 11 strikeouts in four innings of relief, allowing just one hit and one walk while keeping Briarwood scoreless.

Both Pelham and Briarwood will play Helena for their first games after spring break. The Panthers will travel to Helena on Tuesday, April 2 at 5 p.m. while the Lions will host the Huskies on Thursday, April 4 at 5:30 p.m.