(Photo by Tim Tutor)
(Gable got game - North’s eighth grade standout pitcher Brianna “Country” Gable (10-2) locks and loads in a recent game at Lady Viking Field.)
By TIM TUTOR
Despite leaving five runners in scoring position Thursday afternoon against Division 2-3A opponent Ripley, the North Pontotoc Lady Viking defense upheld a one-run fourth inning to defeat the Lady Tigers 1-0 and improve to 12-2 on the season, and remain undefeated at 3-0 in the division.
“We played better defense today,” said Lady Viking head coach Shane Montgomery of his fifth ranked charges in Friday’s Daily Journal.
“We turned two double plays, and kept the errors down.”
After praising the performance of his eighth grade pitcher, Brianna Gable (10-2), and the defensive play of second baseman Courtney Quillian, catcher Arlissa Sneed and first baseman Shanda “Stretch” Melton, Montgomery said, “If we can keep making plays like we did today, we can make some noise in our division.”
The lone run
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Quillian showed her worth at the plate with a hit. Sneed then reached on an error that landed her on second and Quillian on third.
Quillian scored on a single up the middle by Gable, but pinch runner Nekia Wheeler was thrown out at the plate.
That was the only run the North girls would need, but Coach Montgomery was not particularly happy with the situation.
“We left eight runners on base, five in scoring position,” Montgomery explained. “We did not do a good job of coming up with two-out hits.
“We had runners on second and third three times with two outs, and did not come through.”
The unbeaten Lady Vikings of North Pontotoc have five division games left on the schedule, — three at home and two on the road — including a make-up game at Ripley ... the team that kept the North girls out of the playoffs last year.
“We held serve on our own field Thursday,” Coach Montgomery said. “We still have to go to Ripley.
“We have got to keep working and getting better.”