By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Reagan Aldridge is not exactly sure when Tupelo last defeated Grenada in slow-pitch softball. The Lady Wave pitcher was told it may have been in 2006.
Whatever the streak, it ended Tuesday – with Aldridge’s help – as Tupelo blanked visiting Grenada 7-0 in its Division 2-6A opener at Lady Wave Field.
“Grenada has always been a big rival,” said Aldridge, who gave up four hits, two coming in the seventh inning. “Our attitude is totally different this year. Not that last year was negative.
“We just approach things different.”
Tupelo (7-3), which ended a two-game losing skid with the win, scattered 13 hits, including three each from Aldridge and her catcher, Mary Beth Maloney.
“That was a great win,” Tupelo coach William Stafford said. “We’re 1-0 in the division. We’ve started off the right way. You always want to play ahead.”
Tupelo took a 2-0 lead in the second on a single by Rachel Rooney and a bases-loaded walk by Katie Rieves.
The Lady Wave upped their lead to 4-0 in the third on RBI singles from Kaitlyn Weeks and Christina Mangles.
Kaylen Webb’s sacrifice fly made it 5-0 in the fourth. Tupelo added its final two runs in the sixth on singles by Maloney and Abby Stafford.
“We were smarter offensively at the plate, deciding what pitches to swing at,” William Stafford said. “We were able to scratch some runs across.”
If there was a negative it was the 11 base runners the Wave left stranded.
“That’s the only thing, we left a lot out there,” Stafford noted. “We’ve got to push those runners across the plate against good teams.”
Aldridge, a junior right-hander, was solid in the circle.
“This year I’m more focused on hitting spots,” she said. “I’m being smart about where I’m pitching.”
“Reagan’s placing the ball better,” he said. “She’s making better decisions when she’s ahead in the count. She’s making hitters work for a hit.”
Tara Grantham absorbed the pitching loss for Grenada (5-9). She also led the Lady Chargers with two singles.