High School Sports

St. Martin downs Oak Grove, headed to 6A South State Finals

 St. Martin pitcher Rebecca Anderson.
VETO ROLEY/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD St. Martin pitcher Rebecca Anderson.

ST. MARTIN - St. Martin completed a sweep over Oak Grove on Wednesday, winning 3-1 in the second game of their 6A State quarterfinal series.

The Lady Jackets will meet two-time defending 6A champion Harrison Central in the South State finals. Harrison Central has won nine of the last 11 meetings, including the last two seasons en-route to state titles.

In 2014, the Red Rebelettes (23-4) swept the Yellow Jackets 3-0, 3-1 before beating Madison Central for the Class 6A state title. Last year, Harrison Central won 10-3, 3-1 before repeating as state champions, again besting the Jaguars in the championship series.

"In order to be the best, you have to beat the best," St. Martin coach Donna Swilley said. "We are ready to play them."

Pitcher Rebecca Anderson also also looks forward to meeting the Red Rebelettes.

"They are the defending state champions and it would be amazing to beat them," Anderson said. "It would be great to go out with a bang beating them."

St. Martin (17-7) used shaky Oak Grove infield play to build a 3-0 lead against the Warriors through four innings.

In the first inning, walks to Deona Morgan and Katelyn Gruich and a hits batsman to Meagan Beaugez, who had a solo home run and three RBIs in the Yellow Jackets 4-1 series opening win, loaded the bases with two outs.

It looked like Warriors pitcher Lauren Perren would get out of the inning, though, inducing Anderson to hit a high pop up to shortstop. However, the Oak Grove shortstop got turned around and the ball dropped near second base allowing Morgan and Gruich to score.

"Against good teams like Oak Grove, the game is going to turn on breaks like that," Swilley said.

The Yellow Jackets added an insurance run in the fourth after Ashlie Warrick started the St. Martin inning with a walk. Renee Foerg sacrificed her second before Deona Morgan knocked her in with a solid single to left.

Anderson cruised through the first five innings, pitching no-hit ball although she walked three batters.

"I felt good about things," Anderson said.

Oak Grove batter, taking their third trips to the plate against Anderson, found their grove in the sixth inning. Quinn and Stewart started the inning with singles. Anderson got the first out on a strikeout before Heather Stanley singled in Quinn to cut the St. Martin lead to 3-1.

Oak Grove continued their assault in the seventh inning with Katelyn Carmichael reaching on a hitsbatsman to start the inning and Quinn getting her second hit of the day to bring the potential winning run to the plate with one out. Anderson, though, would end the game getting Stewart to line out hard to secondbaseman Warrick and getting the third out on a bouncer back to the circle.

Anderson finished with a four hitter and struck out seven for the complete-game win. Emily Stansbury had two hits and stolen base to lead St. Martin at the plate as the Yellow Jackets had only four hits in the game.