The Portland softball team traveled to Gulf Shores, Alabama last week and won three games. The tournament was scheduled to be played over three days, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Lady Panthers played five games in two days.
“Every game we played were against teams from Tennessee and within proximity of Portland,” remarked Coach Vanessa Tomlinson.
The Purple opened the tourney last Monday with a 6-4 loss to Goodpasture.
In the first inning, Mac Fitzgerald walked and came in on an Abbie Tomlinson hit. Tomlinson scored on a Cailey Walker hit. Portland pushed across their final two runs in the second. Fitzgerald reached base and was driven home by Tomlinson. Jama Hoffman would later score on a passed ball.
The Lady Panthers followed that contest by outslugging Greenbrier, 13-12. Portland trailed 5-0 until the third when the Lady Panthers collected 13 hits that produced nine runs, including a three-run triple by Fitzgerald. Scoring in the inning were Hoffman, Fitzgerald, Tomlinson, Walker, Sami Parker, Shelby Richards, Eryn Cheney, Daley McCloud, and Lillie Whitehead. Greenbrier came back to tie the score at 9-9 and took a 12-9 advantage until the top of the fifth.
Playing by the international rule, Richards took second to start the inning. After two strikeouts, Hoffman singled in Richards, and Whitehead drove in Hoffman that left Portland trailing 12-11. Fitzgerald came to the plate and hit a shot down the line that resulted in a inside the park homer for the winning runs.
The Lady Panthers blanked White House in their next game 8-0. Parker started the scoring in the second by blasting a double and coming in on a passed ball. Five runs crossed home plate in the third. Tomlinson walked, Walker collected a base hit and Parker drew a base-on-balls. Richards plated Tomlinson and Katie McCloud cleared the bases on a hit that allowed Walker, Parker, and Richards to touch home. Hoffman would drive in Katie McCloud with a hit.
In the fourth, Fitzgerald reached base and Tomlinson recorded an RBI hit off the bat of Tomlinson and Tomlinson came around on a steal.
Walker pitched the entire contest and retired the first nine batters she faced and allowed one hit in 16 at-bats.
“Cailey did a fabulous job on the mound,” Tomlinson remarked. “She showed us a lot in the game.”
Portland and Friendship Christian School played a nearly two-and-half hour game to close out pool play before the Purple defeated the Commanders 8-6 in nine innings.
The Lady Panthers struck first with three in the second. Samantha Alda-Katherine, Daley McCloud, and Hoffman all scored off hits by Hoffman, Whitehead and Fitzgerald. The two teams entered the seventh deadlocked at 3-3. The Lady Commanders went up 4-3, but the Purple retied the score with a run in the bottom of the inning. Parker took second base and was driven in by a Daley McCloud RBI hit. In the eighth, Hoffman was on second when Fitzgerald blast a hit to plate Hoffman.
Walker followed with a hit to force in Fitzgerald. The contest was knotted up 6-6 before Portland scored the winning runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Parker was on second and Richards reached first base. Parker tallied off an Alda-Katherine safety and Daley McCloud punched in the winning run as Richards crossed home plate.
Portland entered bracket play and fell to Friendship Christian School 6-2. Fitzgerald tallied in the first on a hit by Walker and Whitehead was knocked in by Parker on an RBI hit in the third.
The Lady Panthers stand at 7-4-1 as the season is temporarily postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“There were some tears after our last tournament game last week,” Tomlinson said. “We don’t know if we will get to finish the season or not.”