By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – Hallie Frenn, now pitching at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, left big shoes to fill in the circle for Saltillo softball. The Lady Tigers’ young replacement is growing up on the job.
Eighth grade starting pitcher Karley Williams helped her own cause in a 5-3 win against Mantachie on Monday.
“They got to her a little bit late, but we’re trying to let her grow up,” Saltillo coach Lee Buse said. “She’s doing a good job. We’ve played a pretty tough schedule and we’ve been throwing her in the fire a little bit.”
In on-again, off-again snow, Morgan Sartin hit a 2-run home run for Saltillo (5-8) in the first inning and Williams added a solo shot in the second.
Madison Sartin drew a two-out walk in the third inning and scored on Lexi Brazeal’s RBI single for a 4-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Mantachie got on the board with an RBI single from Maggie Oswalt and a second run on an error, but Williams (4-3) got out of a bases-loaded jam with a one-run lead.
“I think she grew up a little bit more tonight,” Buse said. “They hit the ball well. They’ve got a good squad, but we were going to leave her out there and see what she could do.
“At the plate, we got off four really good swings. We’ve improved every week.”
Mantachie (5-3) had only one base runner in the first four innings, but was in it until Williams got a groundout to end the sixth.
Saltillo got one back on Jona Nicholson’s RBI double. Mallory Clouse fell to 3-3 with the loss.
“We’ve been up and down,” Mantachie coach Kristy Montgomery said. “We had two or three games we hit really, really well. The weather, too, you can’t blame everything on the weather but you just can’t get in any kind of rhythm of playing.”