In a game that saw Madison Central blow an 8-1 lead, the Lady Indians rallied from behind to win in their final at bat Monday and advance 12-11 over a gutty Bryan Station team in the opening round of the 11th Region softball tournament at Franklin County.
Kasi Schneid rocketed a one-out double to centerfield with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, bringing home the tying and winning runs.
The rally started on sophomore Madison Bernard’s bunt single, a moment that could have short-circuited the comeback, but the she beat out the throw to first from Bryan Station pitcher Kaitlyn Hurley.
“Too close for comfort, I’ll say that,” Schneid said of the bang-bang play at first. “I was proud of her. She’s one of the younger girls. She hasn’t started all year and she got stuck in a hard situation, especially being the first round of region and she came through for us.”
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As for her part, Schneid, a senior, said she knew what she had to do.
“Once they walked Laylee (Burchell) and I knew I was going to have to hit, I mean, I’ve been in worse situations ...,” Schneid said. “So I just got up there relaxed and hit the ball.”
The game featured 27 hits and five errors. But what it lacked in grace, it made up for in heart from both teams.
“They don’t quit,” said first-year coach Chris Clark of his 44th District champs. “They never give up hope. Right now, we’re just winning and surviving.”
It looked as if it might be easy early. The Indians went up 6-1 after one and tacked on two more to make it 8-1 going into the third.
But Bryan Station’s Destiny Johnson reached on a passed ball after striking out to lead off the third. Emma Hamilton, who homered in the first to open the scoring, singled to put two on for the Defenders’ powerful first baseman Shelby McLean.
McLean got down two strikes, fouling off five pitches and then launched a three-run home run to right-centerfield, cutting the lead to 8-4.
A single by Cheyenne Whited and a double by Imani Jackson put two on for Macy Helton whose fly ball was dropped in short left, scoring both runners and cutting Madison Central’s advantage to 8-7.
Madison Central extended the lead back to 10-7 over the next two at-bats, but more errors in the sixth set up Bryan Station’s rally to the lead.
Destiny Johnson singled and Hamilton walked to put two on for the home-run hitter McLean. Madison Central’s Burchell, the third Lady Indians pitcher of the day, got McLean to strike out and Taylor Johnson to pop out to first base. The threat appeared over until back-to-back errors let in two runs, cutting the lead to 10-9. Danielle Miller followed with a two-run single to give the Defenders an 11-10 lead.
For Bryan Station, third-year coach Hector Urbaneja hated that his team couldn’t hold on, but he couldn’t fault its effort.
“I’m short of words right now,” Urbaneja said. “This is the best we’ve ever played. … We showed a lot of heart and that’s everything you can ask for an athlete.”
Lafayette 6, Franklin County 4: Kara Winchester’s double in the fourth started a rally that saw Lafayette turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead. Then her solo home run in the fifth provided the insurance needed for the Generals to top Franklin County. Tekiya Carter went 2-for-4 and scored two runs including a controversial tying run in the fourth.
Carter was singled in by catcher Kassi Eye. But Eye’s number on Lafayette Coach Todd Avery’s lineup card was incorrect. Franklin County Coach Tracy Spickard notified the umpires of the error. The crew talked for more than 20 minutes and, ultimately, ruled the scorecard error only merited a warning, according to Avery. The run stood and the Flyers gave up two more runs on a couple of walks, a single and a hit batter before escaping the inning.
Scott County 10, Berea 0 (6 innings): Hannah Davis led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a home run to dead centerfield to give No. 1 Scott County a run-rule win over Berea.
Davis was 4-for-4 with an RBI triple in the first, a two-RBI single in the second and came home on a sacrifice fly after a single and a two-base error in the third for the defending state champs. Carly Oliver added two triples and three RBI.
Woodford County 12, Tates Creek 0: Kelsey Coleman hit a grand slam and Peyton Rose added a three-run triple in the first inning and No. 2 Woodford County cruised to a run-rule win over Tates Creek.
11th Region softball tournament at Franklin County
Tuesday: Semifinals, Lafayette (22-13) vs. Scott County (31-4), 6 p.m.; Woodford County (30-5) vs. Madison Central (17-13), 8 p.m.
Wednesday: Finals, 7 p.m.