The Pine Grove Lady Panthers got a clutch 2-strike, 2-out RBI single from senior catcher Brittany Gates in the bottom of the eighth inning to win 13-12 over the Myrtle Lady Hawks in the rubber match of their Class 1A opening-round series. Pine Grove advanced with a 2-1 series win. They won Game One 8-5, but fell in Game Two 9-5.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Gates tied the game at 11 after her single to center led to a Myrtle run-scoring error. Pine Grove first baseman Haley Pannell was walked ahead of Gates in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings. Gates hadn't hit the ball well in the two previous games, but she picked it up in the finale. Her two-RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning put Pine Grove ahead 10-8. She totaled three hits and four RBIs in the series-clincher. Afterwards she celebrated with family, as Pine Grove held their Senior Night.
"I kept thinking, I've just got to hit the ball. We've got to score," said Gates, who admitted she was nervous. "I hadn't hit the ball in the previous games, but I finally started hitting. I was even more nervous with two strikes, but I just kept thinking about scoring. Nothing fells better than winning a game on Senior Night."
Blue Mountain, Walnut fall in opening round
The Blue Mountain Lady Cougars (11-13) were swept by Smithville, who will face Pine Grove in Round Two. The Walnut Lady Wildcats were swept by Baldwyn, 11-3 and 13-2 in Class 2A.