ENTERPRISE – West Union, following an exciting four-run, seventh-inning rally, lost to visiting Pine Grove 7-6 in eighth innings Monday in Game 1 of the Class 1A second-round state softball playoff series.
Game 2 is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Pine Grove. A Game 3, if needed, would follow.
“I was extremely proud of our comeback. They didn’t lay down,” West Union coach Lisa Bogue said. “They fought for it. We just couldn’t produce at the end. They were trying to overdo (in the eighth), instead of putting the ball in play … and swinging at bad pitches.”
Bogue credited Pine Grove pitcher Lizzie Meeks for her effective work in the circle. Meeks scattered nine hits and recorded six strikeouts.
“(Meeks) did a good job of making us swing at bad pitches. We’ve got to stop chasing and hit strikes,” Bogue said.
Pine Grove (20-4) scored its go-ahead run in the eighth on a ground ball by Carley Greer to shortstop. The runner, Maddee Hall, started the inning at second base as part of the international tiebreaker rule.
In the bottom of the eighth, West Union’s base runner, Molly Reeves, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Sophie Hooker. However, Meeks ended the threat and game with back-to-back strikeouts.
West Union (10-14), trailed 6-2 headed into the seventh. The Eagles’ lone runs came on a two-run homer in the fourth inning by seventh grader Parker Gates. It was second home run of the postseason for Gates.
“She came through in the clutch,” Bogue said. “She has several times this year. She’s out there having fun. I hope she keeps it up.”
The Lady Eagles rallied with the help of three Pine Grove errors in the seventh. Annie Orman had an RBI double and Eden Conlee had an RBI single. Emma Callicutt also singled and scored.
Callicutt gave up eight hits and recorded six strikeouts in the circle. Her defense committed three errors. She had two singles.
Ellie Fryar doubled and tripled to pace Pine Grove.