Dare leads way as ACA stays alive
Sat. May 19, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | By Andrew Carroll
ACA’s Chandler Dare makes a diving try at an infield hit during the fourth inning against Mobile Christian. (Photo by Staff photo | Dusty Compton )
MONTGOMERY | Shut out in Friday’s first game, the American Christian Academy softball team had to hit or go home.
Chandler Dare, a junior shortstop, set the example with a leadoff triple, and the Lady Patriots stayed alive in the AHSAA Class 2A tournament with a 6-4 victory over Goshen.
ACA (29-17-1), which lost to Mobile Christian 4-0, faces Lexington at 9 this morning at Lagoon Park.
Dare, who joined the varsity as a seventh-grader, said the Lady Patriots went 0-2 in the state tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Her triple in the bottom of the first sparked a four-run outburst.
"I always try to start off the game strong," she said. "I knew that if I got on base, it would get everybody else pumped up.
"I was really glad that we won that game. Now we can continue on at state for the second day."
Dare scored when Kate Coleman hit a fly to right. The outfielder dropped the ball, allowing Coleman to reach first. Coleman went to second on a wild pitch, took third on Hannah Burr’s single and scored on an error. Kaitlin Hammer kept the inning going with a two-out walk, and Danielle Hamner doubled in two runs.
Burr, the lone senior, went 3-for-3 with a double. Laura Holifield ran for Burr and scored in the first because Burr has a sore ankle.
Dare, a left-handed batter, turned on a pitch and homered to right-center field in the second. She said it was only the second over-the-fence home run of her career.
"I knew as soon as it hit the bat, it’s gone," Dare said. "I just got on my trot."
ACA coach Billy White admitted that he was "giving it a little one-two myself, hoping it would get over because it was a good swing."
Rachel Skelton gave ACA its final run with a homer in the fifth.
Kaitlin Hamner, the starting pitcher, allowed two runs, three hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings. Lashley Graham came on in relief with two outs and bases loaded in the second. She got out of the jam with a popup to third.
Graham got the win as she allowed two runs, five hits and two walks and struck out three.
"We needed to bring in Lashley to slow it down a little bit and get control of the game," White said. "I thought we definitely grew up a little bit today. The first game, we got our eyes opened up a little bit. The second game, we kind of figured out what we needed to do. They sort of relaxed and let the game come to them."
Mobile Christian senior Samantha Glenn shut out ACA on three hits and had two strikeouts. Graham, a junior, pitched a complete game in taking the loss. She allowed eight hits, two walks and three earned runs. She had one strikeout.
Mobile Christian scored one run in the second inning, one in the fifth and two in the sixth.
Dare went 2-for-3 with a double and a steal. Skelton had a single and a steal.
Reach Andrew Carroll at email@example.com or at 205-722-0223.