Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ada and Byng softball teams have been on roller coaster rides pretty much the entire fall.
After Thursday’s head-to-head matchup at the Lady Cougar softball complex, it appears Byng’s ride is on the way up and Ada’s is heading in the wrong direction.
Byng took advantage of seven Ada errors and got a shutout from young hurler Rachel Benes in an 8-0 victory in the local grudge match.
“That was a great win. I’m really, really proud of them,” said Byng head coach Andi Hurst. “We’ve won some good games. ... we beat Ada, that’s always a good game. We’re young and we just need games and a little more experience. That’s all coming together. Our plan is to come together in time for playoffs and that’s what we’re working on.”
Ada head coach Scott Simpson was disappointed in his team’s effort.
“That was about as uninspired defense as you can get. We continue to shoot ourself in the foot,” Simpson said. “We didn’t make plays at all early and dug ourselves a hole. It was one of our worse games of the year defensively without a doubt. And we work on defense all the time.”
Just 24 hours earlier, Coalgate had defeated Ada 10-1. Meanwhile, the win stopped a three-game Byng losing streak — including a 10-0 loss to Tecumseh on Monday. Both teams now have six wins under their belts.
Byng scored four runs over the first three innings with two-out rallies in each frame.
In the top of the first, Layna Abbott singled to left field and she came around to score after Ada committed back-to-back errors.
Byng added another run in the top of the second when Lauryn Humphers reached on an error and scored on a two-out double by leadoff hitter Rhyann Case.
Ada recorded two quick outs to start the third inning, too. But two errors, a hit batter and a base hit by Humphers led to two more unearned runs and put the Lady Pirates on top 4-0.
Byng got a double by Abbott — who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI to lead an eight-hit Byng offense — a two-RBI single by Tatum Hill and base hits by Sydney Fuller and Case in a four-run outburst in the top of the fourth that also included the final two Ada miscues of the game.
Ada had a chance to spoil the shutout by Benes in the bottom of the third when the Lady Cougars loaded the bases with one out thanks to singles by Brittney Lee, Stevona Gilbert and Brooklyn Cupps. But Byng recorded an out at home after a fielder’s choice before Kendal Johnson flew out to center field.
Benes scattered five hits, walked one batter and hit another in the five-inning affair. And Byng made no errors behind her.
“She’s doing well. She just turned 15 (Monday) and we’re really proud of her being able to finish that game,” Hurst said. “She’s doing a great job.”
Case was the only other player in the game with more than one hit, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI for Byng.
Both local teams will get tested by ranked foes in Thursday home games. The Lady Pirates entertain local rival Latta (No. 4 in Class 2A) while Ada is at home against Sulphur (No. 3 in Class 3A).