Winston Academy defeats Starkville Academy in softball

Staff Writer

A big first inning from visiting Winston Academy did in the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers as they lost a district matchup on Tuesday night 11-2.

“(Winston) hit the ball hard, but we gave them some extra outs by dropping pop ups and missing standard throws from the infield to first," Starkville Academy softball coach Thomas Berkery said. "Any time you play a decent team, they’re going to make you pay with that. We’re learning from it. We’re working on our mistakes in practice and piecing it together.”

Winston broke on top out of the gates when it put up four runs in the first inning to put the Lady Vols in a hole. The Lady Patriots scored another run in the second, two runs in the third and put the game away with three runs in the fourth to go up 10-1.

The only two runs for Starkville Academy came in the bottom of the first when Austin Tucker delivered an RBI single and they got a sacrifice fly off the bat of Caralyne Montgomery in the fifth with the lead safe for the Lady Patriots.

Anna Rae Taylor pitched well despite the big run production from Winston. Taylor had nine strikeouts and no walks in the game for the Lady Vols and added one of the team’s five hits. Tucker had three of them herself as she went 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.

Starkville Academy is in their second season back of organized play after taking a year off in softball and Berkery is seeing some progress with his first team as a coach. Berkery said that his young players have had to adjust to the simple things like playing a full game after working mostly in short junior varsity games.

“For some of these young girls, seven innings is a long game,” Berkery said. “They’re hanging in and we’re asking them to stay locked in as long as we can. A lot of them played just three or four innings every game in junior varsity. We’ll take progress where we can get it.”