Tri-State Showcase: Lions lead early, lose late to Broncos, Titans

Apr. 14—CANNONSBURG — It's not how you start it's how you finish.

It might be a cliché line, but in sports, it's an adage proven correct time and again.

Case in point, Frederick Douglass found itself down 7-0 going into the third inning on Saturday in the Tri-State Showcase, but the Broncos walked away with a 15-12 win by the time the dust settled.

"We try to focus on attitude and effort," Frederick Douglass coach Jason McGuire said. "I preach it and preach it. It takes everyone in the dugout to step up and show that support. and it takes some growing up and leadership. This team hasn't had that the last few seasons, but we're getting there this year."

The Lions performed well in spurts, including Jaycie Goad drilling two home runs in the contest, but the offense stopped after the fifth inning as the defense struggled after the opening two frames.

"We just have to pitch better," Boyd County coach Lance Seasor said. "We've got a lot of young girls pitching and we've got to throw strikes. We have to put the ball in play. We can't give up free bases on walks and hit-by-pitches. When you're playing a good team and you give them free bases, they usually make you pay and that's what happened here."

The Lions' first dent in the scoreboard came on a home run from Goad that soared over the center field fence for two runs.

Boyd County added even more runs in the second frame.

Grace Stephens got across the plate to start the scoring off an RBI single from Brooke Jacobs.

Jacobs and Jadyn Goad both scored after a two-run RBI single from Elyn Simpkins.

Simpkins then stole home on a passed ball just a few pitches later.

The fifth and final run of the inning came after an error off the bat of Savanna Henderson got Jaycie Goad home.

The Broncos fought back in the top of the third inning.

Amerah Sweat led off with a big triple to deep right field. Sweat was put into the lineup during the bottom of the second, and was clearly ready to play.

"She's done very well and she needed it," McGuire said of Sweat's performance. "A lot of these girls that are not playing have had a lot of errors in the last several weeks. But again, I try to make sure that they stay focused and they're ready to play. We have to forgive and forget about those errors and make sure they're ready to play."

Sweat got home on the next at-bat after a hit from Haley McGuire.

The Broncos would tally two more after a stand-up double from Kyleigh Curtis to pull to a 7-3 deficit.

The Lions put one more on the board in the third frame, as Stephens again got home on a Jacobs RBI single.

Frederick Douglass turned the tables on the game in the top of the fourth frame.

The Broncos put up eight runs on five hits and one Boyd County error through 11 at-bats.

The Broncos had four straight doubles in the inning, via Curtis, Jorden Bowman, Haylee Lefever and Alexis Fox.

Curtis's hit collected two RBI. Bowman, Lefever, and Fox's got one run each.

The other three runs came from a couple of fielder's choices off the bats of Aleigha Long and Sweat.

Now trailing 11-8, the Lions got back to work in the bottom of the fifth.

"We have to learn how to win," Seasor said. "Again, we have a mostly young team. We're learning as we go. They're very talented, but we have to learn how to get a lead and then hold onto it. But I'm extremely proud of the way they didn't quit, battled back, and put pressure back on them."

Simpkins hit an RBI double to get one back.

On the next at-bat, Jaycie Goad drilled another homer, a rocket off the face of the scoreboard, to get back three runs and quickly retake the lead, 12-11, after five.

"Jaycee is the epitome of a game-time player," Seasor said. "Her worth work ethic is second to none. She's been swinging it well and she's starting to get even hotter. She's a huge asset to our team and I love having her."

The lead didn't last long.

The Broncos put up three runs in the sixth frame to go back in front for good.

Those runs came from a two-run RBI single from Lefever and a sacrifice fly from Haly McGuire.

Frederick Douglass tacked on one more in the top of the seventh on a throwing error to make it 15-12.

Boyd County got a runner on second in the bottom of the seventh, but that was as close as it could get.

"We're competing, and we're getting there, we just have to learn to finish a game," Seasor said. "We're great at jumping out and having a lead and then we kind of let off and let other teams back in the game. We've got to learn to hold that lead and not take our foot off the gas, and go."

After the Broncos put McGuire in for Wombles following the sixth-inning Lions homer, Boyd County never scored another run.

The Lions didn't fare much better in their late matchup in the showcase.

Boyd County dropped that game to Portsmouth Notre Dame, 14-5, in a game that ended just shy of midnight on Saturday.

The Lions again took an early lead in this contest, but only a 1-0 nothing advantage following an RBI single from Kyli Kouns.

The Titans took control of the game from there.

Notre Dame scored three runs in the second, third, and fourth frames, and two runs in the fifth.

By the time the Lions got up to bat in the bottom of the fifth inning, they were trailing 11-3.

The home team tried to get back into the game with Kouns again getting her bat moving to bring in a pair of runs, but that's all the team could muster.

The Titans chipped in another three-run inning in the sixth to take the game.

F. DOUGLASS 003 803 1 — 15 15 4

BOYD CO. 251 040 0 — 12 16 4

Wombles, McGuire (6) and Lefever; Simpkins, Black (6) and Kouns. W — McGuire. L — Black. 2B — Curtis (FD), Bowden (FD), Lefever (FD), Fox (FD), Simpkins (BC). 3B — Sweat (FD). HR — Jay. Goad 2 (BC).

NOTRE DAME 033 323 0 — 14 17 1

BOYD CO. 120 020 0 — 5 10 4

Rush, Sparks (5) and Entler; Jacobs, Simpkins (3), Black (6) and Kouns. W — Rush. L — Jacobs. 2B — Henderson (BC), Rush (ND), Sparks 2 (ND). HR — Sparks (ND), Ford (ND).