Lady Saints avenge early loss to IWA
Published 9:31 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The second time was the charm this season for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s softball team when facing Isle of Wight Academy.
Back on March 24, the visiting Lady Chargers shut out NSA 4-0.
“I was not pleased with how we played that day,” Lady Saints coach Brittany Wilkins said. “We did not bring our bats with us.”
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But on Tuesday, Nansemond-Suffolk used a big third inning and strong defense to defeat host IWA 3-2.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” Wilkins said. “That was a huge team win for us.”
The Lady Chargers have been successful this season, currently holding a 14-4 overall record, according to MaxPreps.com. Frequent opponents of Isle of Wight know they must go through junior ace pitcher Trish Webb of Suffolk.
But in preparation for facing IWA a second time this year, Wilkins said she worked with her players more on general things, on the mental side of things.
She said her team benefited from timely hitting, and “Isle of Wight made a couple of errors that helped us out, too.”
The Lady Saints had some errors of their own that benefited the Lady Chargers.
“Their two runs came off of two errors that we made in the bottom of the first,” Wilkins said.
But Nansemond-Suffolk jumped on IWA in the top of the third, making what looked to be a short inning into a long one for the home team.
Senior Bridget Murphy led off with a single, sophomore Delaney Taylor hit a sacrifice bunt to move her to second, junior Katie Peelen flew out and the Lady Saints had two outs and no runs.
But then freshman Madi Wilson singled to left field, moving Murphy to third, and then Murphy went for home. The Lady Chargers overthrew their catcher, allowing Murphy to score, and then they overthrew third base trying to get Wilson out, allowing her to score.
“And that’s how we got our first two runs,” Wilkins said.
But the Lady Saints were not done in that inning.
Junior Brooklyne Carr was walked and later stole second. Freshman Emerson Puzey singled, scoring Carr from second base to make the score 3-2. The top of the inning ended moments later when Puzey got out trying to reach second base.
Wilkins said that after that half of the third, “I was on cloud nine with them and just told them, ‘We’ve got the lead, now let’s hold it.’”
Through the bottom of the third and the top and bottom of the fourth, only nine batters reached the plate as the defenses of both teams cracked down.
“Defensively, Katie Peelen threw an awesome game and had seven strikeouts,” Wilkins said.
Peelen’s record improved to 8-5.
Offensively, Wilson and Puzey each went 2-for-3 with a run batted in for NSA.
Nansemond-Suffolk (11-5, 6-0) is currently on a six-game win streak and visits major conference rival Greenbrier Christian Academy this afternoon.
Wilkins wants her team to “just attack it like any other game,” she said. “It’s not different, but they’ve just got to want it more than Greenbrier does.”