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Pinewood crashes BAs party
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Bulloch Academy's Kelcie Jacobs lets loose one of the first pitches in the school's new softball facility Tuesday against Pinewood.
    Pinewood pitcher Haley Kennedy struck out nine Bulloch Academy batters and allowed just one hit as the Lady Patriots spoiled the Lady Gators’ home opener with an 11-0 rout in six innings
    “I was excited and ready to play,” said Kennedy, who ran her record to 6-1. “I used my fast ball, my curve and my changeup today. They worked pretty well.”
    Kennedy was sharp from the opening inning as her speed and accuracy kept the Lady Gators guessing.
    “Not bad for my number two pitcher, is it?” said Pinewood coach Eddie Durrence. “She pitched a lot of innings, almost two and a half games, over the weekend at a tournament and walked just one batter. Haley had some good stuff today.”
    The Lady Gators were playing their first-ever game on their new field. A dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony publicly thanked the numerous and generous parent volunteers and supporters of the program who donated money, materials and manpower to help make the dream of a new field on the school’s campus a reality.             Longtime Bulloch Academy coach Barbara Conner, who is in her 23rd year at the school and spent 17 as the head girls’ varsity softball coach, was honored by being unanimously selected to throw the first pitch.
    The Lady Gators (3-3) gave up a single run in the first and two more in the second. Sophomore Kelcie Jacobs got the starting nod for Bulloch but a month off during the summer battling illness showed in her delivery. Also the error bug showed up in the third as the Lady Gators committed two miscues.
    Sunny Salzman, another sophomore, came on in the third for the Lady Gators and kept Pinewood scoreless through the middle innings.
    “In the middle innings, we got the runner on but couldn’t get down the bunt,” said Durrence. “Bulloch played some good defense in those innings.”
    The Lady Patriots made a couple of errors which allowed a few BA baserunners but Bulloch couldn’t string anything together. The Lady Gators got their only hit of the game, a sharp single to right center by Salzman, in the bottom of the fourth.
    Still, Bulloch was just a couple of hits and a couple of breaks away from being back in the ballgame. But it was the PCA sixth which ended that thought.
    Pinewood sent 11 batters to the plate and collected eight runs on three hits, a sacrifice fly, a couple of fielder’s choices and a slew of errors, both mental and physical, by Bulloch. Some of the highlights of the inning were Jessica Eason’s two-run single to left, Renna Roderick’s sacrifice fly to center, Kennedy’s two-run single to left center and Callie Boatright’s run-scoring single to left.
    “We just went to hitting the ball in the sixth,” said Durrence. “We started getting the bunt down and good things happened. We got some big hits and were able to hit the ball throughout the lineup.”
    Pinewood (6-1) hosts Robert Toombs Christian Academy Thursday in Bellville while Bulloch travels to Dublin Friday for a weekend tournament at the Southern Pines Regional Park.