By Zach Adams
Itawamba County Times
MANTACHIE – Baldwyn had won 21-straight games heading into Tuesday’s Division 1-2A showdown at Mantachie. The streak came to an end, however, as Mantachie grabbed an early lead and fought off a Lady Bearcats rally in seventh inning to take the pivotal contest 5-2.
Trailing 5-1 with one out and bases loaded in the final inning, Baldwyn’s Mackenzie Riley drove in a run with a fielder’s choice RBI. The threat ended when Maggie Martin grounded out in the next at bat.
“(Baldwyn) is a solid team from top to bottom,” Mantachie coach Kristi Montgomery said. “I was glad to get them at our place first. Our girls played as well as they possibly could have played, I thought. We came with a lot of heart and dug deep.”
The Lady Mustangs (15-3) got on the board in the bottom of the first inning when, after a couple errors put runners on base, Shanna Carnathan and Montana Robbins each had RBI singles to put the home team an early 2-0 lead.
Haley Sandlin got a run back for the Lady Bearcats (21-2) in the second with a sac fly, but Mantachie surged with a three-run fourth that tipped the game in the Lady Mustangs’ favor for good.
With runners on first and second, Tori Hendrick drove a deep double to left-center field to score MacKenzie Guin. Senior Brittany Adams followed with a single that plated Shelby Kindt and Hendrick, who scored on a play at the plate.
Mantachie lived up to its solid defensive reputation by holding off the Lady Bearcats who struggled to hit the ball in the large confines of Lady Mustang Stadium.
“We realized it was a big game and the girls wanted to take care of it and finish first in the division,” Baldwyn coach Jessica Taylor said. “We did a lot of things that were not characteristic of us. … I think it is going to be different story when they come to our place.”