After turning in a solid performance on the mound, East Newton’s Taylor Mathis was determined to send her team to victory when she stepped to the plate in the top of the 12th inning on Monday at Pierce City. Her determination paid off, as she helped lead her Lady Patriots to a 7-4 victory.
With the game tied 4-4 in the top of the 12th, Emily Hobbs smacked a one-out triple and Emily Brummett followed with a bunt single to put runners at first and third. One batter later, and with two outs, Mathis dug in and lined the second pitch she saw to the wall in right center and cruised into third with a two-run triple to make it 6-4, Lady Patriots. An error on a ball hit by Mallory Whitman followed, allowing Mathis to trot home to make it 7-4.
The craziness of that inning was only the tip of the iceberg, however, as the Lady Eagles had multiple opportunities to win the game but couldn’t seal the deal. One such instance came in the bottom of the 8th when they loaded the bases with no outs and failed to score. East Newton thwarted the threat by throwing out two runners at the plate and another on a routine grounder to keep it 4-4.
A runner later reached third with two outs in the 11th for Pierce City, but a hustle play by East Newton catcher Katlin Butler on a wild pitch held the runner at third and allowed the Lady Patriots to escape the jam. The Lady Eagles again loaded the bases with no outs in the 12th trailing 7-4, but East Newton gunned down two runners at the plate and the third on a grounder to end it.
In all, the Lady Patriots saved the game five times by cutting down runners at the plate. Another wild note: From the 7th to 11th innings, the Lady Patriots were retired in order in every at-bat before cutting loose in the 12th.
Mathis earned the victory on the mound with a solid performance, and helped her own cause at the dish by going 4 for 6 with a triple, three runs scored and two RBIs. Ellie White and Brummett had two hits and scored two runs apiece. Butler had two hits and Whitman scored twice.
The Lady Patriots took an early lead with a run in the first and three more in the third inning. Pierce City got two runs in the third and two more in the fourth to tie it up.