Northeast Lauderdale put base runners on first and second base with no outs, down by five, in the top of the seventh inning.
The Lady Trojans managed only one run, however, as host West Lauderdale played error-free in the field to grab three outs and hold off its county rival 10-6 Tuesday night.
“We finally played solid defense,” West head coach Austin Buchanan said. “Luckily, they chased some bad pitches, and we got some easy outs.”
After the Lady Trojans got on the board in the top of the first when Kariyah Clemons and Raelee White each drove in a run with two outs, the Lady Knights answered with three runs in each of their first three innings at the plate for a 9-2 lead. Kayla Horton hit a two-run RBI triple in the first inning, and McKinley Maxwell brought home three runs on a bases-load hit in the second.
Northeast cut its deficit to four in the fourth inning after Kayla Watson reach third base on an error to score two runs, and she was sent home after Harley White’s sacrifice fly to centerfield.
West was held scoreless for the next two innings until Maxwell hit an RBI double to pick up an insurance run for the Lady Knights. Maxwell finished the evening 3-for-4 with a run and four RBIs. Leadoff batter Kacey Williams went 2-for-4 with three runs, and Maggie Bush and Courtney Lewis each picked up two of their team’s 13 hits.
“It made a huge impact on the first part of our game,” Maxwell said of her team’s offense. “It helped us tremendously to get the 10 runs.”
Braylin Tingle led off the top of the seventh with a hit and was then batted in by Molly Moore before two groundouts and a flyout gave the Lady Knights the victory. White had the only multi-hit performance for Northeast, going 2-for-4 with one run and an RBI. The Lady Trojans earned eight hits overall.
“They never give up,” Northeast head coach Tyler Vick said. “We’re really young and lack that late-inning experience, but they always fight, and that’s all I can ask.”
Buchanan said he is pleased with how his team played against difficult competition.
“They’re a tough team,” Buchanan said. “We have a tough district, so every night is going to be tough for everybody. So just having that mindset of coming in and getting after it, just playing a full seven innings is tough to do, but we have the capability to do it.”