Suffolk splits in regular season finale

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Bryan Bess, Andy Owen, Daniel Cross, Robert Hedrick, Chase Nelson and Ricky Lainhart all crossed the plate in the second inning to make the difference in Lakeland’s 7-5 &uot;Senior Day&uot; victory over crosstown rival Nansemond River Tuesday afternoon. Hedrick, Nelson, Lainhart, Bryan Ashburn, Lee Abernathy, Jonathan Pinchbeck and Bucky Buchanan went home as winners in their farewell game. On the mound, Hedrick struck out five in a complete-game performance. The win ended Lakeland in fifth place in the district for the season and NR in sixth (two wins for each would have put them in the district tournament).

Lainhart batted home Hedrick in the first inning, and Jeremy Riggs tied it up in the top of the second.

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Then the Cavaliers went on the offensive. Bess walked, and Owen singled to centerfield. Cross knocked a two-bagger to center to drive in Bess, and Owen scored when Hedrick reached on an error. Nelson singled in Cross, and Lainhart knocked home Hedrick. A sacrifice fly from Ashburn scored Nelson, and Buchanan singled Lainhart in for a 7-1 lead.

David Mattei smoked a double off the centerfield fence to score River’s second run in the fourth, and the Warriors left the bases loaded in the fifth. Will Hirsch cut the lead down to 7-3 in the sixth, and Eric Berry, in what would be his final River at-bat, set a new school record by blasting his ninth homer of the season to start the seventh. Riggs also came in for the Warriors for the season’s final run.

Over on the softball field, the Lady Warriors were much ruder visitors, hammering Lakeland 14-3 in the swan song of Ashley Brinkley, Tanya Chirico and Nicole Debien. Linley Theroux threw eight strikeouts, and Mindy Byrd and Shannon Andy homered for the Lady Warriors.

Lindsay Kelly doubled for Lakeland in the bottom of the first, and Chirico moved her to third. Kelly scored on a wild pitch, and Erica Rimasse tripled Chirico home.

It didn’t last. April Hines led off the third with a single, and Theroux drew a walk. Brandi Novak went in to pinch-run, and Byrd singled Hines in. Novak was out at second, but Heather Horton and Ali Mowry singled to load the bases. Megan Belch bounced a ground-rule double over the centerfield fence to score Byrd and Horton, and a double by Ashley Aston drove in Mowry and Belch. Aston scored when Andy reached on an error, ending with a 6-2 lead.

Both teams stagnated for the next few innings, but Theroux singled to open the sixth, and Byrd blasted a homer to deep center. Horton walked, Mowry singled, and Belch drove in Horton. Andy then whacked a round-tripper of her own to right-centerfield, and the lead was 12-2.

Leslie Bowman opened the seventh with a single, and Natalie Sims sacrificed her to third. Mowry knocked Bowman home, and Belch tripled Mowry in for River’s final runs. Brinkley scored for Lakeland in the seventh.

The Lady Warriors now head to the district tournament, which begins next Tuesday at Oscar Smith.

Over at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, both Saint diamond teams kicked off the TCIS tournament with decisive victories, as the Lady Saints routed Catholic 11-1 and the Saints held down Cape Henry, 9-1. The NSA girls won the tournament two seasons ago, and the boys brought a title to Suffolk last season.

Jessica Little pitched the full game for the Lady Saints, and Ann-Taylor Spain and Brittany Wilkins scored three runs each. For Spain, Caroline Parker and Mary Speight (who scored the run that ended the contest in the fifth inning), it was their final home game.

Bo Garner led off the first with a walk, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on an Adam Keeling single. Bryan Breedlove walked to start the second, and Matt Tuttle reached on an error. Garner walked to load the bases, and Breedlove and Tuttle scored on passed balls.

Jeff Cooper got on with a single, and he and Garner were driven in by Todd Harrell.

Cooper scored NSA’s seventh run in the fourth, and he and Harrell had the team’s final runs in the sixth. From the mound, Harrell and Keeling combined for eight strikeouts.

Both teams visit Greenbrier Christian Thursday for the tourney semifinals.