By PATRICK CASEY
It was a good Friday afternoon for the Ponce de Leon Pirates as both softball and baseball posted wins over District 1, Class A foe Malone.
The softball team posted a 9-3 decision over the Tigers behind the play of pitcher Devyn Butorac and the hitting of Taylor West.
The Pirates built a 6-1 lead early only to have Malone close to within 6-3 before the Pirates added three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to improve to 5-4 overall and 2-1 in district play.
The baseball team posted a 12-7 decision in a high-scoring affair that saw the host squad jump out to a 5-0 lead before Malone came back with three runs in the top of the fourth.
The Pirates came right back with three in the bottom of the fourth to increase the lead to 8-3, then 10-3 after five innings only to have the Tigers score four in the sixth to trim the margin to 10-7. Two runs in the bottom of the sixth ended any comeback hopes by Malone.
Bryce West got the win as he pitched five innings, throwing 106 pitches as he allowed only two hits with six strikeouts and six walks. Ty Rushing closed the door in the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning to help the Pirates improve to 7-6 overall and 5-3 in District 1 of Class A.
Rushing had a double while driving in two runs for the host squad with West and Chase Edwards providing a pair of singles. Chris Ponds also had a pair of singles and drove in a run in a contest that saw the two squads combine for 12 errors.
Malone, which had lost a 4-1 home decision to Paxton the night before, had eight errors in the field and turned in a sluggish performance to help the Pirates earn their first home win against the Jackson County squad in baseball since the 2009 season.
Kyle Young took the loss as he pitched three innings with the Tigers recording only three hits in the game. The squad did draw seven walks and took advantage of four PDL errors but got too far behind to pull off a comeback.
Malone fell to 7-4 with the loss and 5-3 in district competition.
By PATRICK CASEY