Big 4th propels Buckeye by SCC

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, May 1, 2013



SULPHUR – In the aftermath of his St. Charles Catholic team’s 11-1 quarterfinal loss to Buckeye Friday, an emotional Comets coach Ty Monica gestured toward his players as they huddled together, one last time, sharing both laughter and tears.

“That, right there, is what this is all about,” said Monica. “They’re not here because of talent or coaching. They’re here because of what you see right there. Those girls believe in each other. They’ve bonded with each other and they play for each other. That’s why they made it here.”

Buoyed by a group of seven seniors, the Comets made it to Sulphur for the ninth consecutive season with hopes of making a run to the final game, just as SCC did in those seniors’ freshman seasons.

It wasn’t to be, as a powerful Buckeye team intent on defending its Class 3A championship all but put things away with a six-run fourth inning, blowing open a 2-1 game.

 “We knew we had to come back strong this year. We refused to lose today,” said Buckeye’s Mandi Moses, who went 3 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs.

After a Comets throwing error, the Panthers had two on with one out and Shae Schreckengast at the plate – she hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to make it 3-1. Mandi Moses followed with a single of her own to make it 4-1.

From there, things unraveled into a nightmare for the Comets. Mikayla Brown walked and Destine Dauzart drove home a run on a fielder’s choice, after SCC’s throw home was offline. Another run scored on a ground ball hit by Jessica Johnson  – through the throw beat the runner home, catcher Destiny Wesley was ruled to not be standing on home plate, and Buckeye took a 6-1 lead. With two outs, another run scored on a passed ball. The Panthers’ eighth run came on an infield single by Taylor Campbell, Campbell beating the throw to first on an extremely close play.

The Comets (21-7) attempted to answer in the top of the fifth after Cori Millet drew a walk and Paige Williams reached on an error to put two on with no outs. But Brown, Buckeye’s starting pitcher, retired the next three batters in order to end the threat.

Buckeye (25-2) finished things in the fifth. Schreckengast hit a home run to make it 9-1. Johnson’s two RBI single closed things out by the 10-run rule.

“They’re not the number two team by accident,” said Monica. “They’re a good hitting club. We knew what we were getting into.”

Buckeye took an early 1-0 lead on Moses’ solo home run to deep left in the third inning, sparking her team’s big offensive day.

Moses, the team’s nine-hole hitter, finished 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

“I have complete confidence in all of our hitters, one through nine,” said Buckeye coach Darlene Wiley, “We put (Moses) at nine because she’s like a second leadoff hitter in a way. She can hit the short ball and she can hit the long ball.”

Brown tossed a 1-hitter for Buckeye, walking one and striking out three over a complete game effort.

Johnson’s RBI single up the middle in the third made it 2-0.

Destiny Wesley put the Comets in the board in the fourth, launching a rocket to deep center to score Jessica Mire. Wesley’s double was SCC’s lone hit on the day.

“She played as an eighth grader last year, so she’s been here,” said Monica.

“It was a good answer for us to bounce back and cut the lead in half. But then we need to go out and play defense on the other side.

“We can’t let a good team like that respond, and we did. They were better than us today.”