Fales Nearly Perfect As Scorps Crush Port Orange Atlantic

By  //  April 25, 2012

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Hurler extraordinare

Sarah Hart swatted a clutch triple as Satellite eliminated Port Ornage Atlantic in the Class 4A regional softball quarterfinals. (Image by Jeff Navin)

BREVARD COUNTY • SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA – One illegal pitch Tuesday night prevented Carleigh Fales from recording a perfect game for Satellite High. Her teammates were just as good at the plate as the Scorpions trounced Port Orange Atlantic, 15-0, in the Class 4A softball regional quarterfinals.

Pinch hitter Carli Kimball walked with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning to force in courtesy runner Kaila Henson with the game-ending run as Satellite recorded a mercy-rule victory. The Scorpions scored eight runs in the decisive third inning.

Fales struck out five in her three innings of work. Kiersten Bartholomew was the lone base runner for Atlantic.

She popped out to Morgan Kingston at shortstop with one out in the first inning, but that play was negated when Fales was called for an illegal pitch on a 3-2 count to send Bartholomew to first base on a walk.

Ashley Howard struck out and Tabitha Thode grounded out to third baseman Jen Tom to end the inning.

Different pitches

“I wasn’t that comfortable in the first two innings,” said Fales, who improved her record to 22-5 as the Scorpions moved to 22-6 this season. “The sun was in my eyes and the mound was a little sandy. I knew that they (Atlantic) didn’t have that good of a record. I tried to treat it like it was Space Coast or Eau Gallie out there. But this did allow me to try a bunch of different pitches like drops and rise balls.”

Atlantic, the runner-up in Class 4A, District 7, finished its season with a 6-16 record.

Satellite stole six bases and recorded four hits in its eight-run, third inning.

Carleigh Fales

On the attack

Kara Mineo walked, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch that sent Kya Tucker to first base with a walk. Tucker then kept running to second base as Mineo scored. Tucker stole third, Alexis Popa walked and stole second as Tucker held at third.

Thode came on in relief of starting pitcher Michelle Hughes, and Courtney Clark reached on an infield hit as Tucker sprinted home to give the Scorpions a 9-0 advantage.

Clark stole second and both Popa and Clark scored on Sarah Hart’s triple to right field. Kingston followed with a bloop single to left field to drive in Hart. Jenna Smith hit a triple to left field to send Kingston home. Fales was hit by a pitch, and Tom walked to load the bases.

Mineo reached on a grounder to first baseman Emily Macklefresh, whose throw to home plate was too late to catch Smith. Tucker popped out, but Kimball’s one-out walk sent courtesy runner Henson home with the game-ending run.

“It was nice for me,” said Satellite coach Andy Crooks, who is in his 15th year as Satellite’s coach.”It was good for my blood pressure. It might not be so great for the girls to have a game like this in the regionals. But a win’s a win.”

Satellite finished with eight hits and seven walks.

“We had some nice hits,” Crooks said. “And that’s not such an easy task when the pitching is a little slower than we’ve seen fairly recently. We came out here and did what we needed to do.”

Hart reached on an error to lead off the first inning for Satellite, stole second and advanced to third as Kingston grounded out. Smith’s single to left field drove in Hart, and Smith circled the bases to score as Bartholomew allowed the ball to get past her for an error.

Fales walked, courtesy runner Henson stole second and, one out later, scored as Mineo struck out and reached first base when the catcher, Marina DeRosa, misplayed the ball and then threw wildly to first base.

Andy Crooks

More runs

Satellite scored four runs in the second inning to extend its lead to 7-0.

With two outs, Hart hit the ball over the head of Kayja Stephens in right field and circled the bases for a home run as the ball rolled to the fence. Kingston singled to left and scored on a three-base error when the ball was misplayed by the outfielder.

Smith walked and scored on a double to the center-field fence by Fales. A wild pitch sent Henson, the courtesy runner, to third base, and she scored on an errant throw by the catcher.

Satellite will host Space Coast at 7 p.m. Friday in the Class 4A regional semifinals.

Last Thursday, the host Scorpions edged the Vipers 2-1 to win the Class 4A, District 8 Championship Game. Space Coast, which blanked Lake Highland Prep 3-0 Tuesday on the road in the regional quarterfinals to improve to 21-7, defeated Satellite in both regular-season meetings between the two schools.

“Anytime you play somebody of that caliber four times, it’s going to be tough,” Crooks said. “We have to keep (Dani) Mowry off the bases, and we have to play solid defense. Having the game here at home will help. I hope a crowd will come out and support us.”

Hart, Kingston and Smith each had two hits for the Scorpions.