GEORGETOWN — Tiffany Wickline's pinch-hit single in the eighth inning Thursday vaulted fifth-ranked Scott County to a 3-2 walk-off win over No. 2 Ballard at Brooking Park.
Wickline rescued the Lady Cardinals after Ballard had rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh to force extra innings.
The Bruins nearly put the game away in the seventh, loading the bases with one out.
But right-hander Marlee Tevis, who pitched a complete game, struck out Jessica Adell and got Lex Hull to ground out.
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"How big was that? The girls, all year they've got in jams but they always think they're going to get out of it, so it's that positive attitude I think that brought us through that," Cards Coach Scott Walters said. "That leadoff hit and then that walk — we set them up. Then to not quit, I'm very proud of them. Very proud of Marlee in the circle, getting that strikeout and getting the groundball out."
Scott County (25-6-1), outfitted in pink for a Relay for Life fund-raiser game, won its ninth game in a row and for the 15th time in 16 games.
Ballard (24-4) had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Adell held the Cards to two singles through four innings, but got touched up for a pair of runs in the fifth.
A one-out single by Elaina Johnson and a two-out hit by Madison Mullin set the table for Michael Luckett. She delivered on a full-count pitch, driving a two-run single to right.
Ballard sent eight batters to the plate in the seventh.
Meghan McCreery led off with a single and Allison Wiseman walked on a 3-2 pitch.
Luckett, the shortstop, got the first out by fielding a grounder and winning a race to the third-base bag for a force-out.
Madison Kearschner singled in a run to make it 2-1, and Hannah Schuh drew a walk to load the bases.
Bailey Walker's single to left scored the tying run, but Tevis escaped further damage.
Ballard stranded two runners in the eighth.
In the bottom of the frame, Katie Stamper singled to right-center.
Megan Glover's bunt pushed pinch-runner Ally Jo Schnieder to second base, bringing Wickline to the plate.
"Just a little," Wickline said when asked if she was nervous. "I was just looking for my hit."
She got it on a 2-2 pitch, lining a single up the middle.
Walters never hesitated in sending Schnieder home, and she slid in with a moment to spare.
"It's great to play this kind of competition any time of season," Walters said. "But now, at this time of the season is even better, because this is what it's going to be like as we move forward. This is a primary game. ... They're an excellent ballclub."
"It was a good ballgame. I think the people got their money's worth."
Mullin, Stamper, Glover and Johnson each had two of Scott County's two hits.
Hull and Kearschner each had two of Ballard's eight hits.
Ballard 000 000 20 — 2 8 1
Scott Co. 000 020 01 — 3 10 1
Adell, Wiseman (6) and Hull; Tevis and Crowe. W — Tevis. L — Wiseman. Records — Ballard 24-4; Scott Co. 25-6-1.