FCS Ends Silverdale’s Softball Season
Defending state champs fall 10-0
Monday, May 13, 2019 - by James Beach
One would not have blamed Silverdale Academy softball coach Tim Couch if he had pulled Laurel Burroughs to the side following Monday’s Division II-A state first round game and asked her for a little advice.
It would have gone something like this: “so what exactly do you do with yourself when you’re not making trips to Murfreesboro at the end of May?”
The head coach for Friendship Christian School found herself in the exact same predicament this time a year ago.
Friendship Christian made early and easy work of the defending state champion Silverdale squad on the Lady Seahawks’ home field in a 10-0 win last night to end the reign and move the Lady Commanders a step closer to their usual end of May destination of Murfreesboro.
FCS (33-9) will travel to Memphis for a Friday date with a chance to eliminate the other half of last year’s state finals duet in Tipton-Rosemark.
Silverdale won its first state crown in any sport a year ago with a win over Tipton-Rosemark while FCS found itself sitting at home for the first time after three consecutive trips to the state tourney. SBA has ended its season three of the last four years in Murfreeesboro prior to last night.
“It was hard, but it was something where the girls took it to heart and made a decision to either start all over or pick up where they left off, and they chose to pick it back up with a lot of hard work to get to this point,” said Burroughs, still mindful of the one more win between the program’s 17th trip to the state tournament.
“Every one of these starters played on that team last year that ended the run at three straight trips and it was difficult at that moment, but it was a learning experience as well,” added Burroughs.
Couch and Silverdale squad should take solace in that as well, as only one of the Lady Seahawks starters will walk across a graduation stage in the coming week, returning a very solid core of youngsters primed to make another run at it next season.
“We knew it was going to be an uphill battle without our No. 1 pitcher and with so many young girls. We knew what their program was about and you hate to end it, but we just ran into a better team. At the end of the year, there is only going to be one team that is happy, and that’s the one walking away with the trophy,” Couch said.
Silverdale lost its top pitcher Maddie Tankersley to a knee injury midway through the season and with a starting group consisting of an 8th-grader, two freshmen and four sophomores the experience of the season and a first-round state game at home should do them well for the future.
“We were able to get a lot of good work with these youngsters and our other pitchers. If you look at who we lost games to this year, there aren’t any slouches in there. I hate it for the seniors on this team, and I’m appreciative of them all, but I’m excited for the future as well,” Couch added.
FCS made its presence felt early with a four-run first and a three-run second to make it 7-0 through two frames and with Kyleigh Pitzer staked to a lead the right-hander went right at the Silverdale youngsters, firing a three-hit shutout with six strikeouts and just two walks. She threw 52 of her 84 pitches for strikes and only went to three balls on three batters.
“The first inning was big for us because it allowed Kyleigh to just go out and go straight at their hitters. We are a pretty solid team when we get that kind of effort on offense and defense,” Burroughs admitted.
FCS leadoff hitter picked up the first of her three walks to open the game and after a sac bunt moved her to second and another walk put two on, Bayley West drilled a run-scoring single to quickly make it 1-0. Kennedy West hit a deep fly ball that was caught to score the second run on the sac fly. The third walk of the inning was followed by an infield error on a slow dribbler to third to score another run before Joy Osipchuk laced an RBI-single to plate the fourth run.
The Lady Commaders added three more on three hits, a walk and sac fly in the second. West lofted the sac fly before sister Kennedy West followed with a two-run double for a 7-0 lead. Silverdale sophomore reliever Breanna Sexton settled down with two scoreless innings before Hannah Alexander blasted a two-run homer in the fifth following one of eight walks issued by Lady Seahawk hurlers.
FCS got the needed 10th run to run rule the outing in the sixth after a pair of walks and a double steal with Annabelle Cooksey swiping home on the throw down to second.
Silverdale had a couple of scoring opps, but stranded three runners in scoring position thanks to Pitzer’s effort on the mound. Freshman Bentley Stiner, 8th-grader Chloe Fryar and sophomore Skylar Sheridan had the three Silverdale hits.
FCS 430 021 – 10 6 1
SBA 000 000 – 0 3 2
Pitzer and Alexander; Cooper, Sexton (2) and Turner.
(Contact James Beach at email@example.com or via Twitter @beachnut1134)