An early lead failed to stand up Saturday for the Scotland County softball team as the power bat of Autumn Blackford brought South Shelby from behind for a 6-4 win in the opening round of the Knox County Tourney.
SCR-I jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Katie Feeney set the tone with a battle to lead off the game, fouling off a number of pitches before finally working the walk. She moved into scoring position on a ground out by Madie Bondurant before Ashleigh Creek delivered an RBI single. She took second on the throw home and that allowed another run to cross the plate when Stevi See delivered an RBI base hit to put Scotland County on top 2-0.
But the Lady Birds rallied in the bottom of the frame, taking advantage of an SCR-I error and a couple of hits including a two-run double by Blackford to knot the score at 2-2.
The Lady Birds pulled ahead 4-2 in the second inning, courtesy of another SCR-I error and a base on balls that led to a two-out double by Lily Wegman.
The Lady Tigers threatened in the third inning, but lead off singles by Abby Blessing and Feeney did not produce any runs as both runners were stranded.
South Shelby loaded the bases in the third thanks to a pair of SCR-I fielding miscues, but was unable to add to the lead.
Blackford gave South Shelby some insurance in the bottom of the fourth inning when she belted a two-run homer to make the score 6-2.
That proved big, as Scotland County cut into the margin in the top of the fifth. Blessing reached on an error and Feeney followed with a single. Creek plated both runs with a base hit to trim the lead to 6-4. But after See reached on a error to put runners on the corners, SCR-I caught a bad break, as pinch runner Kaitlyn McMinn was called out trying to steal second base on a play where she appeared to have clearly beat the throw. That effectively ended the rally and South Shelby held on for the 6-4 win in six innings.
Creek was tagged for six runs, three earned, on seven hits and a walk while striking out nine.
She went 2-3 at the plate with three RBIs. Feeney was 2-2 with two runs scored.