Trailing 3-0 after a half inning, Lone Grove’s girls didn’t drop their heads.
They didn’t sulk after falling behind a run late, either.
They just kept battling, leading to a two-run rally in the sixth inning and a gem of a seventh defensively to beat Plainview 6-5 on Monday.
Raley Long’s two-run single in the sixth put the Longhorns ahead for good, and Alexis Lewis followed in the final frame with a rally-killing double play to complete the Longhorns’ comeback.
Senior Jeanea Mitchell pitched all seven innings for Lone Grove (10-6). She was down 3-0 early after giving up consecutive RBI hits to Tiphani Napier and Jade Southerland.
But Lone Grove (10-6) pulled back three runs immediately in the bottom of the first, and the see-saw game was on.
“I know that if they’ve got my back, it’s easier to throw strikes. I feel a lot more confident,” said Mitchell, who struck out three and walked none. “We finished a lot more strong.”
Plainview (8-8) went ahead 5-4 after scoring in the fifth and sixth on a Southerland sacrifice fly and a Kaylee Roskam RBI single. But Lone Grove never wavered.
With two outs in the sixth, the Longhorns managed to load the bases on two Plainview errors and a Morgan Copeland single. Long’s two-run base hit up the middle turned out to be the game-winner.
“That was big for us,” Lone Grove coach Jimmy Miller said. “For them to have to confidence to battle back out there is a turning point for us as far as confidence goes in ourself.
“We pride ourself on playing good defense and trying not to make many mistakes.”
The Longhorns’ defense snuffed out any chance of a comeback with an all-around effort from Lewis in the top of the seventh.
With one on for Plainview, the third baseman was able to lay out to catch Roskam’s short fly ball, then throw to first from her knees as Copeland made the scoop and tag for the double play.
Lewis, who also put Lone Grove ahead 4-3 in the second inning via an RBI single, said she wasn’t used to make such a defensive play, but that the team played good defense as a whole.
“I just reached out there and the ball just went in the glove,” said Lewis. “We came together to make it a better game.”
Ashton Johnson was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI single to pace Lone Grove at the plate. Haley McCutchen was 1-for-2 with two walks and four stolen bases, Harley McCutchen had two hits and an RBI and Nacona Presgrove added a two-run double for the Longhorns.
Page 2 of 2 - Taryn Callender was 3-for-3, Roskam had two hits and Napier and Southerland each drove in two runs for Plainview. The Indians outhit the Longhorns 13-10.
Erik K. Horne