Marengo Academy clinches area softball crown

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2008

LINDEN &8212; In a contest with a playoff atmosphere, the Marengo Academy softball team pulled out a 3-2 win in the its final at-bat to clinch the area title Tuesday afternoon.

Ashley Stokes started the game for the Longhorns, issuing a walk to the game&8217;s first batter. Frustrated with the home plate umpire&8217;s interpretation of the strike zone, she briefly stepped out of the circle in an apparent effort to collect herself.

The Longhorns frustrations also carried over to the offensive side of the game as they managed to send only 10 batters to the plate through the first three innings. Those woes continued until the bottom of fifth inning.

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Trailing 1-0 with two runners on, Libba Carroll stroked a triple that plated Chelsea Etheridge and Abbey Huckabee, handing MA the lead.

Stokes needed to be picked up one more time. After Patrician came back to tie the game, the Longhorns were facing the prospect of extra innings with the bottom of the order due up.

Etheridge began the inning by reaching on an error. Huckabee followed with a single to put runners on first and second. The next two batters failed to put the ball in play before Carroll hustled down the line to take advantage of an error by the Saint third baseman, leaving the rally in the hands of shortstop Michelle Pritchett. After working the count, the junior laced a double up the middle to score Etheridge and hand MA the area championship.

Her projection of the Longhorns&8217; seeding may prove accurate. Mathis believes the team will be no worse than a No. 2 seed in the state tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery May 2-3.