File photo by Kevin Nagle
GULF SHORES, Ala. — The Bryant Lady Hornets’ bid to capture the championship of the 68-team Gulf Coast Classic II came to a close on Wednesday afternoon with a 4-2 loss to the Sumiton, Ala., Christian Academy Lady Eagles in the quarterfinals.
Bryant, now 12-3, had won six straight in the tournament to reach the quarterfinals.
Simiton pitcher Kamree Lay shut out the Lady Hornets through four innings as her teammates built a 4-0 lead. Lay fanned six without a walk and gave up six hits, three of which came in the fifth inning when Bryant scored its runs.
The Lady Eagles grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Kendall Beth Sides led off with a triple and Jenna Ergle cracked a two-run homer with one out.
Lady Hornets pitcher Gianni Hulett retired the next two to keep it 2-0 and Bryant threatened in the bottom of the inning. Regan Ryan singled to lead it off and, with two down, Sarah Evans looped a double to right. But a strikeout ended the inning.
Sumiton added a run in the top of the third when Abbey Bice singled, took second on a groundout, third on another tapper then scored when Sides singled.
Lay struck out the all three Bryant batters in the bottom of the second. In the third, Ergle walked then Hulett fanned the next two batters. Angel Whitlow blooped a single then Ergle lined an RBI knock to right. Ergle scored but Whitlow was thrown out trying to follow her home on Regan Keesee’s throw to the plate.
Ryan managed a one-out single in the bottom of the third but Lay got the next two batters to pop out.
Raven Loveless came on to pitch for Bryant in the top of the fourth and retired the side in order but the Lady Hornets were unable to get a runner aboard in the bottom of the inning.
A lead-off single by Savanah Langston opened the top of the fifth but Ergle grounded into a force as Loveless threw to Madison Lyles at second. The next two struck out.
The Lady Hornets rallied in the bottom of the fifth with Brooklyn Trammell drilling a lead-off double to left. Pinch-runner Callie Bradley scored on Maddie Stephen’s one-out single, advancing to second herself on an errant relay. Ryan singled her home so it was 4-2 with one out and a runner at first.
But Lay set down the next two batters to bring the game to an end.
The Lady Hornets will enjoy the rest of their spring break before returning to 7A-Central Conference action on Tuesday at home against Little Rock Central.