For the second time this year, the Marshall County High School Tigerettes fell behind in a game versus the Loretto Lady Mustangs and mustered up a late rally to send the game into extra innings. Also for the second time this season, Loretto head Coach Bill Snider pulled his ace starter, freshman Caroline Ezell, from a game she was seemingly in control of and gave the Tigerettes a chance to come back.
Deja Vu all
On March 29 at Loretto, Snider pulled Ezell from the game and the Tigerettes won in extra innings 11-8. Luckily for Loretto, the outcome was different this time as they held on to win 16-12 in eleven innings.
"She threw a lot of pitches," Snider said of his decision to pull Ezell from the contest, leading 9-4 in the seventh inning. "Why are you asking me that," he added, "It was our decision."
The young Tigerette squad battled the entire game, falling behind 2-0 after three innings, but they cut the lead to 2-1 on an RBI single by starting pitcher Erika Finley in the bottom of the fourth.
Loretto again went ahead 3-1 in the next inning on a solo homerun by Kinsley Williams and the Tigerettes managed to cut the lead to one again at 3-2 on an RBI single to right field by Kwanza Pillow.
The Lady Mustangs used a big fifth inning to stretch the lead to 7-3 and yet again, the Tigerettes plated a run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Meike Wallace to make 7-4.
Loretto added two more runs in the top of the seventh to seemingly put the game out of reach at 9-4 and Snider pulled Ezell from the contest.
Tigerettes battle all night, finally
tie game on Wallace single
Marshall County started the bottom of the seventh with a walk by Pillow who went all the way to third on wild throws. An infield single by Lauren Anderson scored Pillow to make it 9-5. Finley reached on an error to put runners on first and second and Lori "Tree Frog" Pearson made the Lady Mustangs pay, ripping a triple over the third base bag that scored both runners and cut the lead to two at 9-7.
McKenna Moffett nailed a two-two pitch down the left field line to score Pearson and the score was 9-8. Snider re-entered Ezell, who whiffed the next batter, but Wallace tied the game with an RBI single that scored Moffett, just under the tag at home and the Tigerettes were all the way back. Ezell registered anther strikeout to end the inning and send the game to the eighth tied at nine.
Loretto scored again in the top of the eighth but the resilient Tigerettes matched the Lady Mustangs with their tenth run of the contest on an RBI single by Mandy Sanders. The Tigerettes loaded the bases with just one out, but failed to plate the winning run and the game went to the ninth.
TSSAA Tiebreaker not kind to MCHS
Neither squad scored in the ninth, and the game went to the tenth and the TSSAA tiebreaker system took effect. Under the tiebreaker, the player who recorded the last out automatically goes to second base to start the next inning and the teams go from there.
The Lady Mustangs exploded for six runs in the inning on four hits to put the Tigerettes in a deep hole. Reese Hambrick's young squad never gave up and they a run across on a Loretto error, had runners on second and third with two before the game ended on a hard line shot to Loretto's shortstop.
"We are just still young and inexperienced," Hambrick said. "We need to quit making mistakes."
Snider was in obvious relief when he said," That was tough, it wasn't pretty. It always seems to be tough when we play them."