PINE BLUFF – Woodlawn was one strike away from advancing to the Class 1A State Softball Tournament semifinals when Calico Rock’s Emma Mitchell dropped a single into shallow centerfield to score two runs in the seventh inning, and give the Lady Pirates a 4-3 victory over the Lady Bears the Class 1A quarterfinals Saturday at Regional Park in Pine Bluff.
It was a heart-breaking moment for Woodlawn, which seemed to have the game in hand after scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. Lady Bear pitcher Kaylee Hinson had a one-hitter going into the top of the seventh inning.
But all that momentum slowly began to fade as Calico Rock’s Megan Hiles and Mykenzie Schrable led off the top of seventh with back-to-back hits to quickly put two aboard.
Hinson struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning, and looked as though she was going to have two down when she struck out the next batter as well. However, the ball bounced out of the catcher’s glove and made long roll down the first base line, allowing the batter to safely reach first and allowing Hiles to score, making it 3-2 game.
Hinson came back with another strikeout, making it two away with runners at second and third and Woodlawn protecting a one-run lead.
That’s when Mitchell stepped to the plate. In her previous three at-bats, she had struck out twice and grounded out the other time. Hinson quickly got out to an 0-2 count as Mitchell missed the first two pitches. But she was able to make contact on the next pitch and the ball floated just beyond second base to drop safely in shallow centerfield for a single. Two runs scored and the Lady Pirates were now in front, 4-3.
To read the full article, see the May 17, 2017 print or e-Herald edition of The Herald.