Demopolis opens the season 2-1 at Hillcrest Invitational.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Game 1

Oak Mountain 5, Demopolis 4

The Lady Tigers began the season where they left off by scoring the first run of the season in the top of the first inning, but the Lady Eagles of Oak Mountain would have the final word as they defeated Demopolis 5-4. Kelly Keasler reached base on an error and moved to second on a passed ball. This set up an RBI double by Lauren Roark to score Keasler. The score remained 1-0 until Oak Mountain generated some offense in the 3rd inning to take a 2-1 lead.

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The Lady Eagles added to their lead in the 4th inning. Back-to-back singles to start the inning gave them the start of a big three-run inning. The offensive explosion was shut down by left fielder Molly Barnes as she threw out a fourth runner trying to score. Demopolis responded in the 6th inning with a run to cut the margin to 5-2. Brittany Thorne singled and Barnes tripled to score Thorne.

In the top of the 7th, the Lady Tigers again mounted a charge to cut into the lead. Dorothy Knapp started the inning by reaching on an error. Lauren Roark then reached base to advance Knapp. Katie Simmons then hit an RBI double to score Knapp and Lara Tucker (running for Roark). Timie Lee then grounded out to advance the runner to third base. With the tying run 60 feet away, India Chancelor grounded to short and the Oak Mountain team secured the victory.

Lauren Roark (0-1) pitched 5 innings to suffer the loss. She gave up four hits in five innings while walking three and striking out one. Kelly Keasler pitched the two final innings of the contest and struck out two.

Game 2

Demopolis 6, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 5

In the second game of the day, Demopolis (1-1) again began very quickly. Lead-off batter Dorothy Knapp reached on a catcher’s error and then promptly stole second.

Knapp moved to third on a ground out by Roark and then crossed the plate on a single by Katie Simmons. In the second inning, Demopolis again added a run from the lead-off batter. India Chancelor walked and then Lara Tucker entered the game to run for her. After moving to second on a passed ball, she advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brittany McGee. Tucker then scored on the next pitch as it sailed to the backstop.

The score remained 2-0 until the 5th inning when Demopolis again got the bats working. Kristin Etheridge walked and Heather Wright singled to start the rally.

After the runners moved up on a passed ball, Knapp bunted home Etheridge. Keasler reached base on an error that loaded the bases. Wright then scored on a passed ball. The final two Lady Tigers would cross the plate on passed balls as well.

With a 6-0 lead, Demopolis looked to be in the drivers seat.

Not to go down without a fight on their own field, Hillcrest mounted a charge that saw them score three runs in the 6th inning and two in the final frame before the Tiger defense shut the door. Kelly Keasler (1-0) earned the win for the Lady Tigers. She gave up two hits while walking one and striking out 5 in the five innings she pitched. Brandi McGee pitched the final two innings of the contest.

She gave up 5 hits, walked one, and struck out one.

Game 3

Demopolis 12, Walker County 2

The final contest of the evening saw Demopolis playing the Lady Vikings of Walker County. Demopolis scored three runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. A Kelly Keasler walk, single by Molly Barnes and single by Lauren Roark saw the first three Tigers reach base. A double by Katie Simmons scored Keasler and Barnes. Kristin Etheridge then bunt singled to load the bases once again.

After a strikeout by India Chancelor, courtesy runner Morgan Patterson would score on a Viking throwing error.

In the next inning, Heather Wright started the offense with a walk. Kealser tripled to score Wright. Molly Barnes walked and stole second. Lauren Roark reached on an infield error to load the bases. Keasler scored on a passed ball.

Katie Simmons followed with a single to score Barnes and Patterson.

With the lead 7-0, the game looked much in hand.

The third inning saw more offense from Demopolis(2-1). Mallory Henderson reached with a single.

She would be forced out on a ball hit by Hunter Lewis. Lewis would then move to third on a double by Heather Wright. A single by Keasler would score Lewis.

After a walk by Barnes loaded the bases, Roark grounded sharply to short and all runners would be safe as Wright touched home. After a strikeout by Katie Simmons, the crowd was treated to a play from the movies. With the bases loaded, the Lady Viking catcher allowed a passed ball. Kealser ran home. With her slide, the ball was mishandled and deflected off her. Barnes then ran home as the defense tried to regroup and make a play. After another errant toss, the ball lay harmlessly up the third baseline with no one near it. Morgan Patterson ran home to score the final run for the Lady Tigers.

Walker County scored a run the 4th and 5th inning but with a commanding 12-2 lead, the game was to be awarded to Demopolis. Lauren Roark(1-1) pitched a complete game two hitter. She struck out 5 while walking none.

The Lady Tigers will host Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa on Tuesday at 5:00.

The game will be at the Demopolis Sportsplex. They will travel to Greensboro on Thursday and to Jackson on Friday. They will return home on Saturday for the Tiger Classic.