Johnson County was closing in on its first win of the season but instead fell to East in a see-saw affair. The Patriots broke a 5-5 tie by scoring in the seventh inning then survived what was close to being a game-tying home run to win a hard fought 6-5 on Thursday at Bob Kirksey Park.
It was a gutsy performance by the Longhorns who battled back from a 2-0 deficit to go up 4-2 in the fifth. Head coach Greg Reece was happy with their effort despite the loss.
“We have some kids putting pressure on themselves because they want to succeed,” said head coach Greg Reece. “But I couldn’t be more proud of them for the way they fought back twice. We’re going to have a good team. It’s going to happen. Unfortunately, we played two of the best teams in our conference without any preseason games, so that’s been tough on the players. I saw a lot of good things that we did. This game could have gone either way.”
East grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to RBI singles from Kylee Wolfe and Caden Bawgus but failed to dent the scoreboard over the next three at-bats.
The Longhorns tied the game in the third on a mammoth two-run homer by Natalie Winters to pull even at 2-2. The junior first baseman would also factor in the following frame.
Maddie Edington led off with a single followed by a walk to Abby Cornett. Diamond Dibble’s groundout and a run-scoring single by Winters would give them a 4-2 advantage after four.
The Lady Patriots tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Chelsey Sams doubled and scored on a line drive home run off the bat of Wolfe.
They would go up 5-4 in the sixth, but the Longhorns would go yard to pull even.
Alex Hendley blasted a home run to tie the game at 5-5.
Hannah Self’s single in the seventh inning scored Wolfe who had doubled to put East back up at 6-5. Johnson County nearly tied the game, but a long fly ball by Hannah Brooks was caught at the fence allowing East to escape with the victory.
Winters had a big day at the plate for the Horns gaping 2-for-3 with three RBI’s. Hendley and Edington provided the other two.
Wolfe led the Pats going 3-for-4 with three BRI’s in addition to pitching the win. Kalelyne Loudy picked up the save. Scott also provided three hits.
Brooks went the distance on the mound for the Longhorns.
Sullivan E. 200021 1 -6
Johnson Co. 002201 0 -5
Wolfe, Loudy (7) and Sams. Brooks and Miller
HR—East (Wolfe) JC—(Winters, Hendley)