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Same old story
Lady Eagles stay unbeaten against Alcovy with 4-2 win
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Alcovy softball looked like it was going to breakthrough for its first win over rival Eastside Monday before Amanda Hawkins had other ideas.

Hawkins’ two-run double of Alcovy's No. 1 starter Chelsea Murphy in the fourth inning proved to be the difference and the Lady Eagles squeaked out a 4-2 victory to stay perfect against the Lady Tigers.

"She (Hawkins) made a good swing on. What can you say? She made the big play," Alcovy coach Monica Marks said. "But we had our opportunities. We had runners on all night, we just couldn't get them across.’

Eastside (8-2) trailed 2-1 with two outs and runners at second and third when Hawkins drove a pitch to the gap in left field to plate two.

"Hawkins came up with a really big hit in a crucial situation because there were two outs," Eastside coach Jason Stokes said. "That was huge. A couple of times this weekend she came up with two outs looking for something really big to happen and she didn’t come through for us so it was really nice to see her come through in that situation."

Alcovy (5-6) had a 2-0 lead heading into the inning thanks to a pair of hits from the middle of its lineup. Samantha Cronan started things off with a single before Lakeiyah Sorrells advanced her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Murphy followed with a liner into the gap for a double to plate the first run before Marie Peck pulled a grounder past second to score Murphy.

Alcovy retired the first two batters in the bottom of the inning before Megan Hallock singled. After Erin Steele reached on an error, Bianca Reed drove in Hallock with an RBI single. Hawkins followed with the base-clearing double.

"They came up with the big hit. What can you say? We had two outs in the inning so really, they just came off the board with a two-out rally," Marks said. "We have to do the little things. A couple of times we didn’t get the bunt down tonight and we have to be able to do that."

Alcovy’s offense was shut down for the most part thanks to sophomore Katie Fletcher who continues to take advantage of her opportunities. Eastside’s No. 1 Taylor Causey missed the game to rest a strained neck and Fletcher came through, tossing three-hit ball for the complete-game win.

"I thought the umpire was a little tight on her but she battled," Stokes said. She worked through an error early on and kept the ball around the plate. She did very well. With getting squeezed on the strike zone, I thought she kept her composure. I'm very pleased with how she pitched. She pitched a very nice game."

The Lady Eagles added a run in the fourth thanks to a pair of Alcovy errors. But the Lady Tigers limited the damage thanks to a nifty play on a double steel. They cut down Savanna Upshaw at home trying to score on the delayed steal then Murphy struck out Hallock to end the threat.

"There were a couple of little things on defense that hurt us but we're playing pretty solid in the field," Marks said. "Every now and then we have an error here or there but we can tighten those things up. But we have to swing the bats."

Eastside started slowly as Murphy was sharp over the first two plus innings. After playing 10 games in less than a week, Eastside looked sluggish until the third.

"I figured after the long week, we would come out tired so I expected that," Stokes said. "We made really good adjustments the second time around, jumped on some good pitches and got some runs out of it."

Meanwhile Murphy didn't pitch badly. She gave up five hits and really only made the mistake to Hawkins.

"Chelsea (Murphy) is a good little pitcher to so, you have to tip your hat to her," Stokes said. "I thought we would hit the ball better than we did but I’m pleased with the way things turned out."

Alcovy’s struggles at the dish continue an early-season trend. The Lady Tigers have been shutout twice in their past six games and scored just 12 runs over that span. They're 2-4 in those games while averaging three runs per game on the season.

"We have to just keep going — keep trying," Marks said. "We have to turn the corner. There may be one game where (we weren’t in it) but every other game we should have won. There’s no game we shouldn't have been right there. We have to turn the corner somehow, some way and get those runners across."