The Eastside High School Eagles softball team advanced to the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs with a 10-6 win against the visiting Perry High School Panthers Thursday.
The Eagles (20-9) didn’t waste any time jumping on the scoreboard first. By the end of third inning they led 4-2. In the top of the fourth inning Eastside senior Ally Allgood reached base with a single and stole second base after a late throw. She tried again moments later to steal third, but was not successful and she was tagged out. The bottom of the fourth inning was a good one for Eastside’s senior pitcher, Lauren Beshears. Beshears allowed a single but a ground out, pop fly and finally a stolen base out got the Eagles out of the inning. The fifth inning started with a pop-fly, followed by a walk by senior third baseman Alyssa Betts. She was left stranded with pop-fly and a ground out ending the inning.
The bottom of the fifth inning was perhaps Beshears’ best. She got the first batter to pop fly into left field for an easy out, followed by two consecutive strikeouts. Each member of the Eagles lineup stepped to the plate in the sixth inning. Senior Molly Moon singled to the shortstop who couldn’t handle the ball and bobbled it allowing Moon to get to first base. Allgood followed Moon’s hit with a single of her own. With a runner in scoring position and one on first base, senior Ashleigh Williams doubled into center field getting a RBI in the process. Freshman Kailey Rusk kept the hitting streak going with another double driving in two runners before she was tagged out. Senior Kacie Fincher singled in the inning before the Lady
Eagles would leave three stranded going into the bottom of the sixth.
Going into the bottom of the sixth, the score was 7-2 Lady Eagles. Beshears had her ups and downs in the inning. The Panthers (13-17) started off with a double but followed it up with a pop-fly out. With a runner on third, Beshears struck out the next batter making it two outs with a runner on third. With an error on a pitch, the Lady Panthers score again making it a four-run game. Beshears got out of the top half of the sixth with a pop-fly out to center field. The top of the seventh started in the exact same order of the sixth. Senior shortstop Taylor Baggett singled into left field. Allgood singled making it two runners on base and Williams gets a RBI double bringing in Baggett. Rusk continued with the hot bats and singled making the bases loaded. Senior Alyssa Betts had an RBI single in the inning giving the Eagles their last score of the night.
The bottom of the seventh was a struggle for Beshears. Two walks and a pop-fly out came from the first three batters. A single caused the bases to be loaded, and the next batter, Beshears battled as the batter fouled off numerous pitches. A groundout came of it, but a run scored. The Panthers fought with every pitch fouling several of them out of play before getting a couple of singles that scored a run a piece. The Panthers rally seemed to be heating up even more after another single, but finally Beshears threw a strikeout to end the inning and the game.
When asked about the seniors, coach Wood said “ They came through for us this game. I think they had pressure on them to perform well, especially since we didn’t get off to the right track the 1st game. I have 9 of them, which works in our favor in these situations,I was proud of them and how they were able to come through for us tonight. “ The Lady Eagles were in control most of the game, but they had to hold off a late rally. Coach Wood didn’t worry, she actually liked to see the Lady Eagles get through a rally, especially in the playoffs. When asked about Beshears’ closing, coach said,“It got shaky, but you know, the playoffs you are going to be in situations like that, glad it went our way, but we haven’t been in positions like that, so it helps us be resilient.” The Lady Eagles will soon know their opponent for the next round, but we know it will be a home game.