Prairie View 1, Franklin Academy 0
One run wasn't nearly enough for the Prairie View Lady Spartans in their first two meetings with Franklin Academy. Bailey Ryder made sure it was enough on the third try.
Riding Ryder's perfect game, the Lady Spartans advanced to the finals of their own tournament with a 1-0 victory over the Lady Cougars on Saturday afternoon. Prairie View (11-3) advances to play in tonight's finals. Scheduled for 7:15 p.m., the championship game will likely start closer to 8 o'clock as the tournament is running behind.
Franklin won its first two matchups with the Lady Spartans, 6-1 and 11-1, but never came close to solving Ryder in Saturday's game.
Aside from a couple of well-struck foul balls, Jesalyn Jarrette's line drive directly at shortstop Jeri Harper for the second out of the top of the second was the Lady Cougars' only hard-hit ball of the five-inning contest. Next up, Emma Gill flew out to center field — the only ball Ryder allowed to leave the infield.
Franklin's Kassie Shipley pitched around a leadoff single to Harper in the first and struck out five of the next six batters before running into trouble in the third.
Haley Yarbrough opened the frame with a double to the right-center gap and scored on Harper's one-out double to roughly the same spot. Amery Clark's fly ball fell for a base hit when the left fielder slipped, but Harper was caught in a rundown between third and home for the second out. Minimizing the damage, Shiple retired the side with a popup to catcher Tyler Robinson.
Ryder helped herself with a defensive gem in the fourth. Grace Johnson pushed a well-placed bunt to the right side, but was out at first by a half-step as Ryder hustled off the mound and made a perfect throw off the barehanded pickup.
Harper flagged down Robinson's sinking popup for the second out before Ryder recorded the final of her three punchouts for the third out.
Alyssa Montgomery opened the Prairie View fourth with a base hit to left and eventually took second on an errant throw. Two outs later, Tabor Moyers was safe on an errant throw, leaving runners at the corners. Shipley, who struck out eight, walked none and allowed five hits, got out the jam with a grounder back to the circle.
Ryder's final three outs were routine. After Ryder handled a popup, Harper took care of the final two outs on a fly ball and a groundout.
By then, the time limit had expired.