The Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers found themselves on the brink of elimination from the SA Invitational.
Even though the Lady Vols scored four runs in the top of the third inning against Heritage Academy, they could not avoid the inevitable and lost 9-5 at the Starkville Sportsplex to be eliminated.
SA (0-5, 0-1) trailed 9-1 entering the top of the third inning, but Sarah Morgan Pellum reached on an error by the shortstop. Mary Austin Barber walked and Lauren Ware had a RBI groundout to drive in Pellum.
Three more runners crossed the plate, but that was all the damage the Lady Vols could do.
"They compete," SA head coach Kayla Mosley said. "They never gave up and that's what I've been wanting to see every game. Get a fire, want to fight back and want to win."
It was the first game Pellum batted in the two-hole. Barber was in the two spot, but Mosley thought it was more beneficial to swap the lineup.
"I having been hitting Mary Austin in the two-hole just trying to get her as many at-bats as possible," Mosley said. "I don't want to take the bat out of her hand. I wanted somebody who can put a good bunt down in the two-hole, and that's Sarah Morgan."
SA took an early one-run lead in the top of the first. Barber reached on an error and was driven in by Ware with a RBI single to left.
Heritage answered with five in the first and four in the second to leave no doubt.
Karlie Lockhart got the start in the circle, but was unable to record an out and was removed after five batters. Barber pitched into the second inning, but Mosley went back to Lockhart to finish the inning.
East Rankin A. 15,
Starkville Academy 0
The Lady Vols fell to another team of Patriots in the first game of the day.
The game was also played as a conference game due to scheduling.
"I just thought (East Rankin) roped the ball," Mosley said. "We made a few errors here and there, put some people on base, walked and hit some batters. They just hit the ball hard, one through nine could hit. When you can hit like that, you make the other team make errors."
Futral and Ware both singled, while Barber had a double in the losing effort.
The Lady Volunteers are back in action Monday when they return a trip to West Point and take on Oak Hill. Varsity is scheduled for 4 p.m. with junior varsity to follow at 5:30 p.m.
"Up," Mosley said of where her team goes from here. "There is so much we have to improve on. I see plays during games that give me hope. I can tell the girls really are picking up on some things that we are working on. It just all needs to come together. With a young group like this, you are going to have your ups and downs, but I am just waiting for that moment when it all clicks."