PG girls rally past North Lamar
TEXARKANA, Texas — A blanket-wrapped crowd battled the frigid night, but the bats were sizzling as Pleasant Grove rallied from an eightrun deficit to drop North Lamar, 13-11, in a District 14-5A opener at Hawk Field Friday night.
Sophomore Sarah Hackleman delivered a towering, three-RBI, two-out homer to center in the fifth and then slammed the door shut on the mound the next two innings to give Pleasant Grove’s seniors their first win over the Pantherettes.
Freshman catcher Jacklynn Smith came up with a pair of two-out hits to score twice and drove in an insurance run in the Lady Hawks’ final at-bat. Smith also gunned down speedy centerfielder Danika Heuberger’s attempt to steal third in the sixth to kill off a nascent rally.
Senior shortstop Adi Koller essentially played on one leg after she tripped while crossing the plate in the first. She sat out one defensive series and then hobbled back on the field. She twice managed to nail a lead runner at second late in the contest. She also delivered a tworun RBI double to the gap in left-center to keep alive a nine-run, two-out rally in the fourth.
“We got ourselves in a hole and there certainly were some plays we’d like to have back, but I am so proud of how we stuck with it,” said PG coach Becca Collom, whose squad notched up its third straight come-from-behind win to improve to 10-8-1. “It’s always good to see them perform under pressure.”
North Lamar put the pressure on early, getting to Hackleman for five runs on five hits in the top of the first. Pitcher Addi Cooper helped her own cause by clearing loaded bases with a double to deep center. She came on an infield ground-out by Kat Findley.
PG answered with a pair of runs. Koller tripled and scored on a ground out by Abby Runion. She twisted her ankle tripping over catcher Mara McEntyre’s foot.
Runion moved to the mound and the Pantherettes roughed her up for five more runs in the top of the fourth to make it 10-2.
On a night when all nine hitters in the lineup had at least one hit, PG sent 12 to the plate in the bottom of the ninth to take an 11-10 lead. Hailey Allen twice reached on infield errors. Gracie Whitecotton, Abby Deal, M.J. Williams, Koller, Smith, and, of course, Hackleman added hits.
Smith led off the sixth with a double to left. Two hitters and two outs later Koller hit an infield grounder and the speedy freshman beat the throw to the plate. Hackleman came up with a two-out double in the sixth and scored on a single to left by Smith.
Runion picked up the win and Hackleman got the save after she returned to the mound in the fifth. In the sixth, Hackleman got one strikeout swinging, another watching, and enticed a soft liner to third to seal the deal.
Pleasant Grove continues district play next week, playing at Liberty-Eylau at 6 p.m. Tuesday and hosting Pittsburg on Friday.