It was a pair of seniors who stole the show for the Lady Flames. Senior Katie Deems (8-1) worked four solid innings in the circle to earn the win. Deems gave up five hits and surrendered just two runs, one earned. Senior Charlie Wooden provided the offensive punch as she drilled a pinch-hi, three-run homer to cap off a four-run fourth for Lee.
The Crusaders struck first for an unearned run in the opening inning. Lee bounced back to tie things up in the second inning with a gift wrap run of their own. Dezirae Parsons lead things off with a double and advanced to third on a single by Meg Macias. Savanna Bell then reached on an error to score Parsons and knot things up a 1-1.
William Carey jumped ahead briefly in the third when Jasmine Shelby hit the first pitch she saw from Deems over the left-field wall to make it 2-1. The advantage was short-lived for the Mississippi club. The Lady Flames offensive would strike for two in the third, three in the fourth and four in the fifth.
Megan Lamb started for the Crusaders and was tagged with the loss. Lamb worked 3 1/3 innings giving up six runs on eight hits. She struck out one and walked one. Brittany Lang worked 1 1/3 innings of relief. Lang gave up four runs, two earned, on five hits.
Deems and Wooden weren’t the only Lee seniors to make their presence felt. Jennifer Ringle added three hits and scored a run. Jeneieve Cena came off the bench in the fifth inning and drilled a two-run double.
Lee freshman infielder Amanda Lynn went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Junior Ana Coscorrosa ended the contest with an RBI single in the fifth inning to stretch the margin to eight.
Freshman Angie Hughes worked a scoreless inning of relief for coach Emily Russell’s squad. Hughes, getting her first taste of postseason play, struck out two and walked one.
The Lady Flames now advance to the winner’s side of the bracket in the double elimination conference tournament. Next up for Lee will be a matchup with the Belhaven Blazers Friday afternoon at noon. Belhaven defeated Brewton-Parker in their opening game, 2-0. The two clubs split a doubleheader in their only regular season meeting.