Pelham honors seniors with dominant win in final home game against Homewood

Published 1:28 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The Pelham Panthers sent off their seniors well with a dominant win in their regular season finale as they beat the Homewood Patriots 12-2 in six innings on Wednesday, April 24 at Pelham High School.

The game was important to multiple Pelham players as McKenzie Little, Jessica Gray and Jordan Howard were playing their last home game at Pelham High School.

Homewood kicked off the game with a two-run single in the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead, but Pelham rallied with 12 unanswered runs from there.

Laini Stewart led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to cut the deficit to 2-1.

While the next batter grounded out, a walk and an error put two runners on, and an error after Shelby Grace Bailey’s fielder’s choice plated the tying run. Then, another error off a fielder’s choice gave Pelham the lead for good.

Taylor Howard and McKenzie Little hit back-to-back RBI singles to take the lead to 5-2, and an Emery Plunkett fielder’s choice put Pelham up 6-2 after the first inning.

The Panthers got right back to work in the bottom of the second inning with a Jordan Howard walk and Jordan Young single. Two batters later, Rebecca Roy walked to load up the bases.

While Pelham then got in a two-out hole, Little came up with her second RBI single in as many innings to put her team up 7-2.

The next two innings came and went without a run before the Panthers hit out of another two-out situation.

On the first pitch of her at-bat, Jessica Gray launched a solo shot to left to take the lead to 8-2.

After a one-two-three top of the sixth, Pelham had another big inning to seal the victory.

Young reached off an error to start the inning and Bailey singled and reached second on the throw to put two runners in scoring position. Darcy Tuchtone came in to pinch hit for Roy and scored a run off a fielder’s choice.

Two batters later, Little hit her third RBI single of the game to put Pelham in double digits. Plunkett then walked to load up the bases again, and Stewart drew a walk to score another run.

Gray then hit a sacrifice fly on the next pitch to give the Panthers a 12-2 lead and sealed the run-rule win.

In addition to her 3-for-4 day at the plate with three RBI and a run, Little earned the win by going five innings while allowing two runs, six hits and two walks. She also secured three strikeouts.

Stewart and Gray had multiple RBI days as Stewart went 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and a run and Gray had a 1-for-4 day with two RBI and a run.

With the victory, Pelham finished the regular season 22-11 and will go into the area tournament with a three-game win streak after beating West Blocton, Mountain Brook and now Homewood in their last three games.

Pelham will start the area tournament on Monday, April 29 at Helena High School in its first-round matchup against the Briarwood Christian Lions at noon.