HAMILTON – Falling behind early, the Hamilton Lady Lions plated 10 runs in the fifth inning to take a 15-7 win over Vardaman in the first game of the second round of the state playoffs last Monday night. Hamilton completed the sweep with a 5-2 win last Tuesday night.
The Lady Rams got a runner to third in the top of the first, but Anna Claire Stahl got out of trouble with a comebacker to the mound for the third out.
The Lady Lions took advantage of an error and used small ball to perfection to get a run home in the bottom half. Tori Harrison reached on an error leading off, and Hannah Rooks got her to second with a sacrifice bunt. Carley Reeves picked up the RBI with a shot up the middle.
Vardaman tied the game in the top of the second and then put up three runs in the top of the third to take the lead at 4-1. It took a line drive to the pitcher and a throw to first for a double play to get Hamilton out the inning.
Harrsion got on base again leading off the bottom of the third, this time with a walk. She got to second on a wild pitch, to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on when Lacey Holley bounced a chopper over the Rams’ shortstop.
The Lady Rams got their lead back up to two with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth on back-to-back doubles and a wild pitch.
The Lady Lions cut the margin back to a run, sending seven batters to the plate in the bottom half. Faith Fontenot started things off with a walk and got to third on Taylor Brock’s double. Stahl helped her cause with a two-run double and scored on a fielder’s choice.
Trailing 6-5, after four innings, Hamilton sent 14 batters to the plate, and when the Lady Rams’ pitching fell apart, scored 10 runs to jump way out in front.
Brock and Reeves drew back-to-back walks chasing Abby Casey from the mound. The relief pitcher couldn’t find the plate and walked Icie Cockerham to load the bases. Running for Holley, Hanna Pettigrew scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Fontenot walked to load the bases again, and Caylin Ferraro drove two runs home to put Hamilton ahead. Two outs later, Harrison got two runs across with a bloop single to right and Holley followed with a walk.
Reeves and Cockerham drew back-to-back RBI walks, and Fontenot cleared the bases when she dropped one in over the first baseman to put Hamilton up 15-6. The game-clinching run was in scoring position but got stranded to keep the game going.
The score remained unchanged in the sixth inning after Stahl struck out the side with two runners on base, and the Lady Lions went down in order.
Vardaman loaded the bases and got one run across before Stahl ended the game with a strikeout.
“This was an ugly game,” Hamilton coach Bryan Loague said. “But I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss, especially this time in the season.”
Hamilton 5, Vardaman 2
The Lady Lions put up an early 4-0 lead as Taylor Brock went 2 for 3 with a double, a triple and two RBI. Hannah Rooks also had a pair of hits, and Lacey Holley picked up the win, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out six.
In the second, Hamilton went up 3-0 on an RBI single by Caylin Ferraro to score Carley Reeves, who led off with a single, and a two-run double by Brock. An RBI single by Icie Cockerham made it 4-0 in the third, and Rooks added an RBI base hit in the sixth after Brock led off with a triple.