ST. MARTIN - The bottom half of the Yellow Jackets order came through as St. Martin defeated D'Iberville 5-1 Tuesday in Mississippi Region 7-6A softball.
The win over D'Iberville marks the start of the heart of St. Martin's schedule. Starting Thursday, and going through April 15, the Yellow Jackets (8-6, 2-0) will play four region games with only Saturday's game against St. Patrick being outside the region.
"Any time you can win a district game, it's a big win," said St. Martin coach Donna Swilley. "A week from Friday, the region race will be over."
The Yellow Jackets will close their season with six consecutive non-region foes.
With the first four batters in the lineup going 0-14 against Warriors pitcher Magnolia Keller, the bottom five hitters in the lineup knocked out eight hits, including five consecutive hits in the bottom half of the fourth when St. Martin scored four runs to take control of the game.
"The bottom half of the order has done a really good job in carrying us a couple of times this year," Swilley said. "That's why it is a team game. Not everyone is going to be hot at the same time."
Ashlie Warrick and Savannah Harris drove in runs with singles while Deona Morgan and Katelynn Carcich drove in runs on infield grounders, giving St. Martin a 5-0 lead through four.
Yellow Jacket pitcher Rebecca Anderson cruised through the first four innings, allowing only one baserunner, Keller, who reached in the first inning off a throwing error. However, in the fifth, D'Iberville (2-10, 0-4) managed to connect on a couple of changeups Anderson left high in the strike zone. With one out, Jackie Lahaie singled. Lahaie scored on Shelby Gehrmann's two-out double before Anderson was able to get out of the inning on a grounder to first.
"She kept D'Iberville off balance," Swilley said. "They were taking a lot of late cuts."
Anderson said she warmed up with her catcher and then "went out there and threw the game I wanted to throw."
Anderson finished with a three hitter, striking out seven batters. Keller had the only other hit against Anderson, a one-out, sixth-inning single.
The Yellow Jackets opened the scoring in the bottom half of the third. Harris led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. She would score from first when Morgan grounded to short. The Warriors shortstop attempted to get Harris at second, but her throw went into right field allowing Harris to score from first base and give St. Martin the early 1-0 advantage.
Harris had a couple of hits, including a double, an RBI and a hits-batsman to led St. Martin at the plate from the ninth-place in the batting order. Meagan Beaugez also had a single and double in three trips to the plate. Shelby Gruich added a pair of singles for the Yellow Jackets.