Tigerettes rally past East Hickman
On Monday night, the Marshall County Tigerettes (21-10) clinched a spot in the District 12-AA tournament championship game by defeating the second seeded East Hickman Lady Eagles 7-3 at home in the third round of the tourney.
Despite losing to MCHS twice during the regular season and being without the services of their top pitcher Emily Robb, who had surgery last week, East Hickman (22-12) appeared to be on the verge of knocking off Marshall County on Monday and held a 3-2 lead through the first five innings of play.
The Tigerettes, though, came up big during crunch time and spoiled the Lady Eagles' upset bid by pushing across five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to claim their fourth straight victory over East Hickman.
Marshall County finished with a modest seven hits against Lady Eagle starting hurler Amber Galyon and reliever Haley Umstead, but drew eight walks to go along with two East Hickman errors.
Katie Crabtree went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, and 1 RBI to lead MCHS at the plate, while Ashton Watkins delivered the biggest blow of the game with a three-run double in the sixth inning. Austyn Whaley also added a two-run homer for the Tigerettes, and Madison Thomason and Morgan Moyers both had a single and a run scored.
Marshall County starting pitcher Kalie Hobbs had to overcome a rocky first inning, but shut down the Lady Eagle offense over the final six frames, as she limited East Hickman to four hits and a walk overall.
Dana Winfrey doubled and drove in a run to account for East Hickman's lone extra base hit of the contest, while Chelsea Buchanan, Dacy Thomasson, and Janah Voyles each singled with Thomasson knocking in one run.
MCHS found themselves in an early hole, as the Lady Eagles pushed across three runs in the top of the first inning on the strength of a leadoff walk by Brooke Graham, a Winfrey RBI double, a single by Buchanan, a Tigerette error, and a Thomasson RBI single to grab a 3-0 lead.
Marshall County quickly whittled the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the first inning when Whaley cranked a two-run shot over the left field fence after Thomason singled with one out.
Galyon then worked around a Moyers single and a walk by Whaley in the third inning with the help of a 5-4 double play before MCHS left the bases loaded in each of the next two frames.
The Tigerettes, however, finally cashed in on a scoring chance in the bottom of the sixth and crossed home plate five times in the inning to seize a 7-3 lead.
After Mary Medley reached first on an error, Moyers and Whaley both drew walks to load the bases with two outs, before Galyon issued another free pass to Brianna Roberts to bring home courtesy runner Mary Kate McGeehee and knot the game at 3-3. Watkins then smacked a bases clearing double into the left centerfield gap to give Marshall County a 6-3 advantage prior to scoring on a RBI double by Crabtree.
Hobbs took care of the rest and sat down the Lady Eagles in order in the top of the seventh to secure the Tigerettes' 21st win of the season.