Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 3, 2014

Auburn stymies Honaker girls 7-2

HONAKER, Va. — The Lady Tigers picked a bad day to have too many mistakes, and Auburn took a 7-2 victory over Honaker in the 1A West softball semifinals at Honaker Elementary School on Tuesday.

The defending state champion struggled in every facet of the game against the Lady Eagles.

“We had some things going for us at times,” Honaker coach Amy Davidson said. “We just made too many mistakes.

“After the first couple of innings we hit well, I think we were on the ball but we just couldn’t get anything going. Base running, mental errors, I think some of it may have been nerves.”

Honaker (14-5) stayed close until the final two innings when the Eagles added four runs on the scoreboard to break open the game. Auburn (22-3) started quickly, basically stealing two runs in the first inning.

Lead-off batter Carrie Rogers showed blazing speed when she bunted for a hit to start the game, immediately stole second and took third on a throwing error. Rachel Smoot followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice.

Rogers then scored on a sacrifice fly by Makayla Burlingame. Smoot stole home when Honaker catcher Marissa Hughes tried to pick her off third for as the Eagles took a 2-0 advantage.

That’s where the score remained until Montanna Compton lined a 0-2 pitch over the fence down the left field line for a home run in the third inning.

Auburn put the lead back at two in the fourth. Taylor Helms walked. With two outs, Smoot lined an RBI single to center.

The Tigers fought back in the bottom of the inning. Megan Ray doubled to deep left-center. She scored when Tiffany Musick reached on an error to put the score at 3-2.

Some base running miscues hurt the Tigers. They had a runner tagged out at the plate on a double steal attempt. Another was picked off second base.

Honaker could get no closer than the one run. They had some chances, with eight runners left on base.

The Eagles pulled away in the sixth and seventh. Rogers, Smoot and Burlingame the top three hitters in Auburn’s lineup had six of their 10 hits, each finishing with two hits each.

Burlingame and Smoot also drove in two runs each.

“We heard the top three were good hitters,” Davidson said. “We just couldn’t work around them. They have a good team. When you get to this level, you have to play good ball.”

Hughes and Leah Elswick, both seniors, are the only two back from last year’s state title team.

Honaker had two starters leave the team five games into the season. The rest of the Tigers roster was composed of four sophomores and four freshmen.

“You have a big bull’s eye on your back when you come in a reigning state champions,” Davidson said.

“We lost eight seniors last year. I don’t think anyone expected this. It was a rebuilding project.

“These girls have overcome a lot this year. They kept digging and got stronger as the season went along.”

In the other semifinal contest, Eastside defeated Chilhowie 8-6 in the nightcap. Eastside will battle Auburn to the 1A West Regional title on Thursday.


At Honaker Elementary School

Auburn.....................200   102   2  —  7  10  3

Honaker...................001   100   0  —  2    5  2

Burlingame and Smoot. Dye and Hughes. W—Burlingame (21-3). L—Dye (10-4). HR—Compton (H), 3rd, none on.

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