Scotland County remains in the driver’s seat for a possible Tri-Rivers Conference title, but it took a trio of late inning high-speed passes to finally pull ahead of Putnam County to take the checkered flag in a 6-5 extra-innings nail-biter.
The Lady Midgets jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead in the first two frames, taking advantage of some SCR-I fielding miscues to plate four unearned runs with the benefit of just one base hit.
SCR-I battled back in the bottom of the third inning. Kaylyn Anders singled and moved into scoring position on an error. Abi Feeney drove her in with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-1. The rally was cut short by a controversial call, when Chelsea Wood lined a ball to short that appeared to be short hopped by the Putnam County fielder. The umpire ruled it a catch, and Feeney was doubled off at second base.
It proved to be the first of several calls that didn’t go the Lady Tigers way, but SCR-I was able to overcome the adversity and rally late.
In the bottom of the sixth, Wood led off with a double. Ashleigh Creek walked and Miranda Holland followed with an RBI single. Courtesy runner Khloe Hamlin came in to score on a RBI hit by Julie Long to make the score 4-3. Maddie Brassfield followed with a line drive off the first base bag, that appeared to plate the tying run. But the ball was called foul and SCR-I was unable to get the run in.
The Lady Tigers looked poised to come from behind in the bottom of the seventh. Anders laced a bad-hop single to the shortstop. She moved up to third on a pair of passed balls. Feeney followed with a walk and the tying run came in on a double steal as the Lady Midgets threw down to second to try to get Feeney, allowing Anders to steal home and knot the score at 4-4. But SCR-I left the bases loaded, forcing extra innings.
Putnam put the pressure on, pulling ahead 5-4 in the top of the eighth, taking advantage of a two out error.
The Lady Tigers were down to their final out when Anders capped off a huge game with a blast to left field that narrowly missed clearing the fence. She settled for a double. Feeney delivered a clutch two-out single to tie the game at 5-5. Wood followed with a base hit and Creek appeared to have won the game with a liner up the middle that Jordan Hollon made her second game-saving defensive play of the night on, to send the game to the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Holland led off with a walk. Stevi See followed with a base on balls and both players moved into scoring position on a passed ball. With one out, Brassfield laid down the bunt and Holland beat the relay home to score the winning run in the 6-5 victory.
Creek notched the win, holding Putnam County to just five hits. All five runs were unearned, as SCR-I committed eight errors on the night. Creek walked two and hit a batter while striking out six.
Anders went 3-4 at the plate with a double and three runs scored. Feeney was 2-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Wood was 2-5 with a double and a run scored.