H.S. Softball: Lincoln can’t hold lead; falls to region’s top team

Published 11:37 am Thursday, April 25, 2019

STANFORD — The hits and runs came early for the Lincoln County softball team in its home rematch with 12th Region rival Pulaski County.

However, the Lady Patriots left the LCHS diamond looking for a few more runs Monday night as they left eight runners on base in the third through seventh innings, allowing the Lady Maroons, the region’s top team, to rally for their 18th straight win, 6-4.

Pulaski, which defeated Lincoln 14-1 in the first meeting on March 25, banged out 16 hits off Lincoln starter Kaylynn Smith and reliever Savannah Robbins, sprinkling out runs over the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings to turn a 3-1 deficit into a win.

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Lincoln (5-14) was down 1-0 when the team took its first at-bat, but the Lady Patriots got that run plus two more back as they tagged five hits off Pulaski starter Kaylee Strunk in the bottom of the first.

After a leadoff foul out, Trinity Shearer hit past short to earn the Lady Patriots their first base. She moved to second on a Kallie Phillips single and took third on a wild pitch before Kaylynn Smith drove her in with a double to centerfield. Peyton Boyd, courtesy runner for Phillips, went to third on the Shearer hit then scored on a Hailee Barnes single. Smith got picked off later at the plate with Sara-Mae Bullock at bat. Bullock then made it a 3-1 ballgame when she connected for a double to left to drive in Barnes.

Pulaski, which owned the game’s first lead when leadoff Molli Nelson scored on a Riley Hull double, made it a one-run game in the top of the second. Nelson got the RBI in the second inning, hitting to right field to plate Bella Ellis, who walked on.

The margin was back to two runs, 4-2, by the end of the inning, though, with Lincoln answering with a run in the bottom half. Shearer led off the inning with a single then moved around to third off a 1-out double by Smith. Shearer crossed home plate when Bullock, who led the Lady Patriot battery going 3-for-4, singled to center. Both Smith and Bullock would be left on base.

That 4-2 Lincoln lead would slowly disappear over the next couple innings.

Holly Barron, who went 3-for-4, banged out a solo home run to lead off the top of the fourth to make it a 4-3 ballgame before Pulaski (18-1) edged ahead with two runs in the top of the fifth.

With the bases loaded, Eva Gover hit into a double play to score Nelson from third base and tie the game at 4-all. Gabbie Countryman hit a single to left centerfield to move Gover to second and the bases were loaded up again after a Barron single. Smith pitched a bases-loaded walk to Ellis to walk in the go-ahead run, with Gover crossing home plate to make it 5-4.

The bases-loaded walk marked the end of Smith’s time on the mound for Lincoln. She gave up five runs off nine hits in her 4-⅔ innings up, with two walks and one strikeout.

Hull, who led Pulaski with a 4-for-4 stint, drove in the final run of the game, plating Dawn Wilson with a double to centerfield.

Lincoln got a runner on base in the fifth, sixth and seventh (2) innings, but they were all left on as Strunk and the Lady Maroons claimed the win.

Lincoln got 12 hits off Strunk, led by Bullock’s three singles. Barnes, Smith and Shearer all had two hits.

Robbins came on for Lincoln for the final 2-⅓ innings, allowing one run off three hits. She had two walks and two strikeouts.

At Lincoln Co.
Pulaski 1 1 0 1 2 1 0 – 6 16
Lincoln 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 – 4 12