Panthers survive scare to win first game at area tournament.Published 5:59pm Thursday, May 2, 2013
The Elmore County High Lady Panthers were poised for the win Thursday in their first-round game, leading 2-0 in the final inning against Childersburg, when disaster struck.
In the 4A Area 6 Tournament at Holtville High, pitcher Kaitlyn McCurdy gave up a stand-up double to begin the top of the seventh inning. Then, after the Lady Panthers got two outs, a third-to-first throw bounced off first-baseman Justine Meadows’ mitt and into the dugout, letting the typing run score.
“O-M-G; that just happened,” exclaimed a player from the host Holtville Bulldogs, who was watching the game from atop the right field fence during the Bulldogs’ batting practice. “That just happened,” she repeated.
But ECHS put aside the disappointment, closed out the frame, and came out swinging in the bottom of the seventh.
Haley Britt led off with a single, then Tori Jackson’s sacrifice bunt was bobbled, giving ECHS runners on first and second with one out. Then Elissa Brown cracked a single to load the bases.
Brooke Nettles came up and bounced a weak grounder through the infield. Childersburg’s defense bobbled and kicked it around, letting Britt easily score from third for the walk-off victory.
The Panthers’ first run was scored in the third inning, when Tori Jackson and Lauren Waid hit back-to-back bloop singles, then Elissa Brown drew a walk to load the bases. Third-baseman Olivia Royal then hit a two-out single to drive in the game’s first run, though a second potential run was thrown out at the plate, ending the inning.
ECHS head coach Wilbur Terrell said it was a good game, and that his girls were ready for whatever came next, as they will face the powerful Lady Bulldogs at 8 p.m. The winner of that game will move on to the South Central Regional Tournament in Troy. The loser will play the winner of Friday’s first knock-out game between Dallas County and Childersburg.