BY JAY TIDWELL

Special to the Journal

ECRU - Shane Montgomery and his North Pontotoc fast-pitch squad know this season's Region 2-3A race is a tight one. They're just hope things keep falling into place.

The Lady Vikings scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh Monday night to knock off Booneville, 5-4, keeping North Pontotoc (16-4, 4-3 in 2-3A) in position to claim one of the two region playoff slots before the regular season wraps up this week.

"Our girls kept plugging and kept working," said Montgomery, whose squad lost 1-0 to Booneville on March 18. " They made an error, but we made four or five. I'm just proud of them for not quitting."

Booneville, ranked No. 5 by the Daily Journal, led 4-2 going into the Lady Vikings' final at bat. Lakyn Nelson's one-out dribbler toward third scored Taylor Coker, Courtney Quillen, and Danyel Raby, when the putout attempt on Nelson at first went bad.

"I didn't really hit the ball as hard as I should have," Nelson said, "but they made the error. ... Everything just fell into place."

The Lady Vikings manufactured the rally without hitting the ball out of the infield. Coker beat out the throw to first on a grounder to second and Quillen reached safely on a grounder to third. Raby's dribbler back to the pitcher resulted in a force-out at home on Tyler Soper, but Raby was safe at first, setting up Nelson's wild finish on Senior Night.

"We were getting ground balls at the end and should have made the plays," said Booneville coach Leigh Boyette. "We just couldn't make the play to finish it."

The Lady Devils (8-5, 2-3) built a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a one-run triple by Nicki Whitten, and a sacrifice by Sara Beth Michael. Lacey Mask drove in a run in the third and Michael added another in the fourth, giving Booneville a 4-0 cushion.

Freshman Brianna Gable (13-3) tossed a complete game for North Pontotoc.

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