Union Christian 9, Prairie View 8
Prairie View's 9-8 loss to Union Christian may have been a case of running out of daylight.
Down 9-3 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Spartans staged a last-gasp rally, plating five runs before the game was called due to darkness. (The lights are up at Prairie View's new softball field, but are not yet in operation).
Tuesday's game was reminiscent of the previous meeting between the two sides. Trailing 6-1, the Lady Spartans exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth to stun the Lady Lions 9-6 last August in the first game played on the new diamond.
Prairie View nearly pulled off another dramatic comeback Tuesday evening.
As the Lady Spartans prepared to hit in the bottom of the fifth, home plate umpire Leabory Odom informed the two coaches that the game would be halted at the end of the inning.
Elle Morgan walked on four pitches and Kayla Hawthorne, Rachel Hankins and Hannah Billings delivered consecutive singles. With a run across, the bases loaded and still nobody out, the deficit suddenly appeared manageable.
Madi Crymes' RBI groundout brought the Lady Spartans within 9-5.
Next up, Allie Culpepper looped an RBI infield single between first and second, bringing the tying run to the plate.
Emma Goss followed with a two-run double down the left field line, chasing Billings and pinch runner Avery Wellbrink across to make it 9-8 with the top of the order due up.
Goss eventually moved to third on a wild pitch and Anna Grace White was hit by a pitch. With the infield playing in, Goss held at third on Chloe Halterman's infield single, leaving the bases loaded.
UCA pitcher Bella Fulton then got out of the inning with a force play at home and a strikeout to preserve the victory.
Capitalizing on three walks, an error and Fulton's leadoff single, the Lady Lions went up 2-0 in the top of the first.
Keyed by Hankins' two-out, two-run double, Prairie View answered with three in its half of the first.
UCA added a single tally in the fourth and put up a five-spot in the third. Two-run singles by Emma Anders and Macie Shirey triggered the outburst as the Lady Lions opened up an 8-3 cushion.
Kayla Risinger started the fifth with a base hit, stole second and circled the bases on a pair of errors for what would prove to be a valuable insurance run in the UCA fifth.
Fulton struck out six and walked three in the complete game win.
Both teams accumulated 11 hits. Fulton went 4-for-4 with an RBI from the leadoff slot, Kristina Scarborough doubled and Shirey, Gracie Stokes, Risinger, Cally Pickel, Anders and Ashlyn Thomason singled.
Hankins went 3-for-3 with three RBIs to pace the Lady Spartans (2-3), Goss doubled and singled, Billings was 2-for-2, and White, Halterman, Hawthorne and Culpepper singled.
Hawthorne was dealt the setback with Hankins in relief.
Prairie View is off the remainder of the week before hosting its annual tournament Monday and Tuesday.
Prairie View JV 10, UCA 2
Limiting UCA to two hits, Avery Wellbrink struck out six without issuing a walk as the Lady Spartans claimed the junior varsity encounter.
Kayla Hawthorne drove in three runs with a two-run triple and an RBI groundout to lead Prairie View at the plate. Anna Grace White doubled and Emilee Gross and Alyssa Gregory supplied base knocks.
Paige Smith and Desiree Pearson singled for the Lady Lions.