Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
If it seemed like Roff senior Lauren Trimmer had a little more hitch in her giddy-up during Thursday afternoon’s meeting against big brother Jason Trimmer and his Tupelo Lady Tigers, it’s probably because she did.
Lauren Trimmer finished with a double and an RBI and even stole home to help her Lady Tigers top her brother’s Lady Tigers 9-5 during a first-round matchup at the 17th Annual Roff Fast Pitch Tournament.
The win improved Roff (No. 6 in Class A) to 11-5, while Tupelo (No. 20 in Class B) fell to 5-8. Thursday’s late results. Friday’s results will appear in Sunday’s edition of The Ada News.
It was not the happy homecoming that Jason, who graduated from Roff and is a former Roff assistant basketball coach, had envisioned.
“Not at all. We’ve been on a roller coaster ride since the Moss Tournament. We can’t just stay steady. We practice hard and do things right in practice. We get out here ... and it’s just mental lapse after mental lapse,” he said after watching his squad commit seven errors in the loss to Roff.
Lauren admitted she was a bit more stoked than usual with her brother leading the opposing dugout.
“Oh, absolutely,” she said.
Even Roff head coach Blake Crawford noticed that Lauren had a little more oomph in her step.
“It kind of got her fired up a little bit. It always does. She’s a gamer. Any time you give her a reason to play a little harder, she does,” he said.
Jason didn’t make it easier on his sibling, that’s for sure.
“He knows my strengths and my weaknesses. He pitched me outside, and I watched the first two that were strikes (during her first at-bat) and then I hit one to right,” Lauren said.
She was happy to have bragging rights, at least for now.
“He told me in the summer, ‘Now Lauren, when I get some time with them, we’re going to beat you guys.’ I was like, Why are you telling me this? That’s just going to make me play harder,'” she recalled.
Jason tried to downplay the whole “brother versus sister” and “playing against his former school for the first time this fall” storylines.
“In all reality, I didn’t think about all that. I was just trying to win a ballgame,” he said. “We played against them all summer. Me and her are always back and forth. I told her we were going to beat her, but that’s just how we are.”
Tupelo made six of its seven errors in the first two innings — three in the first and three in the second — and Roff took advantage for an early 6-1 lead. Lauren had the only RBI for Roff during that span, driving in one of four second-inning runs with a double to left field.
The visitors grabbed a 1-0 lead when Courtney Hickman reached base via catcher’s interference and scored all the way from first on an error in the Roff outfield.
Lauren’s line drive to right field in the bottom of the first resulted in a three-base error and allowed the first Roff run to score. She promptly stole home to put Roff ahead for good.
Tupelo got within 6-4 with a three-run third inning that featured a two-run single by Amber Cosar. Keara Bourland drove in the final run after beating out an infield hit that pulled Tupelo to within 6-4.
Roff responded with two more runs in the bottom of the third when Ashley Cornell scored on a wild pitch despite a great hustle play by Bourland, the Tupelo catcher, who tracked down the ball and dove toward the plate to make the play very close. Breecia Crawford’s RBI single pushed the RHS lead to 8-4.
Tupelo’s Kurston Chamberlain singled and scored on an error in the top of the fourth, but Roff got that back in the bottom of the fourth in the form of Jalee Hood's RBI single that ended the scoring.
Jason said he expects more from his team as the season continues.
“I really thought we’d come out with a lot more intensity today. I would say of all their rivals, this is probably the biggest one," he said. "They wanted to beat them bad, and it didn’t show.
"I don’t feel like there was intensity before the first pitch or any time after. I’m disappointed, but we have a lot more season left. I tell these girls every day they have the potential and the talent to be a good team if they’ll just put it together and quit worrying about it and go play and have fun.”
Blake Crawford didn’t like to see the four errors at the end of his team’s linescore, but he was happy to advance.
“You have to win that first round of your own tournament. We made too many errors. We didn’t play very well. It wasn’t a very pretty game. But it was a win,” he said.
Former Roff girls basketball coach and teacher Lora Trimmer — the mother of Jason and Lauren — tried to remain calm throughout the contest.
“Anything I said wouldn’t be right. One or the other of them would be mad,” Lora said. “I was hoping they would both do good.”
Lauren also thought her mom would remain neutral.
“She was rooting for both of us,” she said.
Jason, not so much.
“She’s going for little sis right now. She has to,” he said. “It hurts her to see me upset and pouting like I was today, but she ultimately wants to see the one that’s playing do better.”