Kale leads Gryphons to record-setting win
The Thomas Jefferson Lady Gryphons used a familiar formula to snap a three-game losing streak, pitching and defense. Brianna Kale turned in another dominating performance in the circle with 13 strikeouts, giving the sophomore 104 total punch outs on the season while the defense only committed one error behind he in a 5-2 win over the WCAA Trailblazers Friday.
“I’ve said this all year, but pitching and defense wins softball games,” said TJCA head coach Jamie Hicks. “The girls know that if we can do those two things the offense is eventually going to come through and that’s exactly what happened today.”
Pitching and defense have certainly paid off for the Gryphons (4-5) so far this season. Friday’s win marked the most ever victories in program history.
“That’s fantastic,” Hicks said of the record. “The team has worked hard, but we still have a long way to go.”
Brianna Kale was her usual, dominate self in the early innings, striking out five of the first six batters she faced. Kale then led off the bottom of the second with a sharp single but was thrown out trying to steal second to leave the game scoreless.
The Lady Gryphons also had a base runner in the third as Ayumi Deyton drew a two out walk, but Emily Allred rolled out to end the frame.
The Trailblazers mounted a major threat in the fourth with a leadoff triple by Ashley Whitaker. Kale bore down and struck out the side, however, to leave the contest scoreless.
The Lady Gryphon finally found their offense in the fifth. Asia Wilson reach on an error and Brooke Greener singled her to second. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and Sara Ramsey brought home Wilson on a fielder’s choice as she slid in under a tag at the plate.
Another error brought the second run home before Allred’s RBI single made the tally 3-0. A two-base throwing error put Allred on third and she came home on Taylor Hardin’s groundout.
WCAA tried to make a comeback in their next at bat. After an error to lead off the inning, Alex Arnette hit a deep home run to left field to cut the deficit to 4-2.
After Kale struck out the next two batters, she got some help from her defense. Sarah McPeters lined what looked to be a clean single to right field, but Isis Wilson was playing shallow and was able to throw to first for the 7-3 putout.
Kale scored her team’s fifth run in the bottom half, and worked around a base runner in the seventh inning to secure the win.
TJCA returns to action Tuesday as they travel to take on Highland Tech.
HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL
At Crowe Park
Friday, March 28, 2014
THOMAS JEFFERSON 5, WCCA 2
WCAA^000^002^0 — 2 4 5
TJCA^000^041^X — 5 5 1
WP: B. Kale ER BB 13K
LP: S. McPeters