No matter what it took, the Lady Panthers were determined to go home with a win over Comfort last Tuesday. This determination was rewarded with a 12-10 victory in eight innings. The Panthers only district loss came in the first meeting of these teams on March 26.
The Panthers took a first inning lead with Leslie McClinton taking a walk and Alex Gustafson hitting a single to get on base. Callie Culton then hit a grounder, bringing McClinton in for the score. Lacee Hunter nailed a single, knocking Gustafson in for another run. Comfort hit strong for three runs in the first inning, then added one run in the third and another in the fourth to take a the lead, 2-5, at the end of the fourth.
In the fifth inning, McClinton hit a double to start a rally for Blanco. Hunter slammed a double, sending McClinton home. Kelsey Schwind then leveled a double in the outfield, which brought Hunter home for another score. Comfort added one run in the bottom of the fifth, starting the sixth inning with Comfort still in the lead, 4-6. Neither team scored in the sixth.
Down by only two runs, the Panthers exploded in the seventh inning, batting all the way through the line-up and scoring an incredible number of runs. With McClinton batting first, the catcher dropped the ball on the third strike and then missed the throw to first. McClinton sped on around the bases, diving head-first into home for the score. The excitement was contagious among the Panther batters. Gustafson smashed a double and Culton brought her home on a bunt. Schwind hit a triple for a RBI and Hayley Fishbeck took base on an error, adding a run. McClinton smashed another double, bringing two more runners home.
Moving to the bottom of the seventh inning, Blanco led 10-6. Comfort quickly scored a run and then, with two outs, a batter hit a low line-drive to right field that rolled to the fence. Comfort scored three more runs, tying the score, 10-10, at the end of regulation.
Moving into the eighth extra inning, the Panthers kept hitting. Culton belted a double into the green. Schwind popped another double and moved Culton to third. Fishbeck then leveled a shot between the shortstop and third base for a double, bringing Culton and Schwind in for two runs. The Panthers held the Deer in the bottom of the eighth for the 12-10 win.
Angel Williams and Hillary Calzoncit each had singles for Blanco. Culton pitched eight innings with eleven hits, one walk, and four stranded runners.
With this hard fought victory, the Panthers season record is now 16-7 overall and 5-1 in district. They faced Johnson City on Monday, April 19, and Brooks on Tuesday, April 20 to conclude their district schedule. Scores and highlights were not available at press time.
The JV team also won a come from behind victory over Comfort, 13-9.
Mackenzie Johnson smacked a single, with Micaela Klein and Angel Williams each hitting a single with a RBI. Monica Flores hit two singles and a RBI, while Andrea Torre added two singles and two RBI’s. Maegan Wilson hit a sacrifice for a RBI, Hayley Fishbeck had a triple for a RBI, and Elise Edmondson nailed a homerun with a RBI. Williams pitched for the Panthers in the first inning; Fishbeck came to the mound for the next three innings, pitching five strike-outs and securing the win.