Tigerettes' comeback stings Lewis County

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Ashton Watkins (15) delivers the go-ahead RBI single in the fifth inning. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Things did not start out well for Tigerette senior circle dweller Kalie Hobbs in Friday night's District 12-AA second round game versus Lewis County as she gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to Kelby Reeves and then got stung on the arm by some flying creature in Lewisburg.

"If we are going to keep with this outcome that will OK with me, but it doesn't sit really well in the first inning," said MCHS head coach Holly Cook about the two-run deficit. "Our girls have battled all year, it was the first inning, they don't give up and that is what I have been most proud of this year."

Hobbs was visibly bothered by the sting, but not by the homerun, scattering just three more hits over the next six innings in a gutsy 5-2 win.

Kalie Hobbs (7) turned in another gutsy performance in the circle for the Tigerettes.

It was win number 20 on the season for the top-seeded Tigerettes, who need one more win to assure a berth in the upcoming Region 6-AA Tournament.

"This was huge," said Cook. "A win Monday puts us in the region no matter what if I am looking at it right. The girls have some confidence about themselves, they are fired up and ready to go and they believe they are the best in the district and they are hoping to show it."

Lewis County hurler Shelley Tiller held the Tigerette offense in check until control issues in the bottom of the third inning allowed MCHS to cut the two-run lead in half.

After a Danielle Toseland leadoff double, Tiller got the next two outs on fly balls to center before losing the strike zone completely in walking Austyn Whaley, Brianna Roberts, and Ashton Watkins in succession, allowing Toseland to meander home.

Hobbs set down the Lady Panthers in order over the next two frames on two infield pop-ups, one fly ball to center and a trio of infield groundouts.

Whaley got the offense going in the bottom of the inning, smoking a ball off the left field fence for a one-out, stand-up double.

Roberts came to the dish and drilled a gapper to left, scoring Whaley to tie the game.

Freshman Ashton Watkins stood in and calmly served up a single to center, scoring Whaley to take the lead at 3-2.

Tiller escaped further trouble with two ground-outs.

Lewis County mounted a comeback as base hits by Tiller and Kaylee Schmittou made it first and second with two outs before Hobbs induced a ground ball to Roberts at short, who gunned down the runner for out number three.

Marshall County, according to Mary Kate McGehee, added two more assurance runs in the home half of the sixth on a Madison Thomason RBI single and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Whaley, making it 5-2.

Hobbs (19-5) had no trouble closing out Lewis County in order to end the game, moving the Tigerettes to within one win of a region berth.

"Lewis always plays us tough, every single year" said Cook. "They are such a competitive team, they are so aggressive and every time we play them it is a tough game."

MCHS (20-10) remains at Reese Hambrick Field for some more home- cooking on Monday versus East Hickman (23-11), who unfortunately lost their ace starting pitcher Emily Robb for the rest of her senior season due to a health related issue.

Robb is expected to make a full recovery.

Whaley led the Tigerettes' offensive charge with a 2-2 night, including a base on balls, a sac fly, one RBI, and one run scored.

Watkins had the go-ahead RBI hit in three at bats and walked once, while Madison Thomason (1-4, RBI), Morgan Moyers (1-4, run scored), Brianna Roberts (1-3, one run scored, one RBI, base on balls), Mary Medley (1-3), and Danielle Toseland (1-2, two runs scored, base on balls) rounded out the scorecard.