Plainview’s Lady Indian softball team didn’t quit, even after trailing 5-0 after three innings on Tuesday.
Rylee Keith capped off by a late-game surge with a walk-off line drive to right center field to give Plainview a 7-5 win over Marietta.
“It feels pretty good, really good actually,” Keith said.
The Lady Indians struggled at the start of the season but the busy weekend of tournament games brought the team together. It showed on Tuesday.
“We’ve played a lot of games and we’ve improved in every game,” Keith said.
Early in the season, practice time is limited with the busy schedule and tournaments. Plainview coach Tim Wade said it puts the pressure on the players to make adjustments.
“There are times in games where they have to be able to think on their feet and be able to react,” Wade said. “Once you start playing games, we’re very limited on opportunities to fix things.”
Trailing 5-0, Plainview’s Kaylee Roskam led off the fourth inning with a walk and Mikaylyn Gerken moved her to second with a bunt.
Freshman Sami Skelly hit a hard grounder past second to bring in the Lady Indians’ first run.
Keith added another with a double to right field to cut Marietta’s lead to 5-2.
Keith continued her strong day at the plate with a line drive to center field that loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning.
Hanna Beth Matherly followed with what should have been a double play on a grounder to the shortstop. But, the throw to second was off, and two runs scored for Plainview.
McKenzie Williams tied the game with a hard grounder past third that was bobbled in left field.
Marietta’s Ryleigh Harmon was hit by a pitch with two outs in the top of the seventh. A pinch-runner took over for Harmon after she was hit on the hand.
Plainview’s catcher, Keith, had tried several pick off throws. She was on target in the seventh inning when the pinch-runner drifted too far off first base.
Roskam led off the seventh for Plainview with a hard hit to left field, and hustled to second. A bunt by Gerken moved Roskam to third and Skelly was walked after working a full count.
Keith’s walk off brought Roskam and Skelly home for the Plainview victory.
The freshman catcher said she was nervous coming to the plate in the seventh inning.
“I just had to look at my bat and calm myself down,” she said.
Plainview has just three seniors on the roster and freshmen in key roles. Wade has preached patience at the plate, and it paid off in Tuesday’s rally.
“Especially batting, you’re going to get what you get,” he said. “You don’t have any control. Sometimes you have to take what you get first, and if they make a mistake — capitalize on it. I’m very pleased, the ladies are responding.”
Marietta took advantage of two Plainview errors in the second to take a 2-0 lead.
Ryleigh Harmon smacked a double to the left field fence in the third to make it 3-0 Marietta. A bases loaded pop fly to center field by Brooke Jones was mishandled, allowing two more runs to score.
Marietta appeared to ease up with the lead, and struggled to regain the early intensity when Plainview responded.
“We’re still not at 100 percent, we’re still missing some key players,” Marietta coach Erik Hughes said. “But we just have to finish. We can’t just be happy with a five-run lead.”