Bottom of lineup is tops for Tigers

ECRU – North Pontotoc had Nettleton where it wanted it, again.
The Lady Vikings trailed by two runs headed into the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday with the top of their lineup coming to bat.
Earlier this season, North Pontotoc faced the same situation and lost, 7-5, to the Lady Tigers. Unfortunately, the end result was the same in the rematch.
Despite loading the bases in the final inning, North Pontotoc failed to score and dropped another 7-5 decision.
“We had a chance,” said North Pontotoc coach Shane Montgomery, whose team’s record fell to 8-3. “They had a chance to put us away when they were up 7-1. We had a chance to win it.
“I’m proud of my girls. They gave it everything they had and fought back against a good team.”
Nettleton, now 12-1, powered by the bottom of its lineup, scored four runs in the fourth inning and added two more in the fifth to jump out to a 7-1 lead.
Heather Noe, the team’s No. 6 batter, and Haydden Payne, the No. 7 batter, had two hits apiece in Lady Tigers’ big innings.
Nettleton scored its first run in the third inning to tie the score at 1-1 on a sacrifice fly by Jesse Patterson.
“That was just two good teams battling it out,” Nettleton coach Dana Rhea said. “This is the kind of game you want. It’s one that will prepare you for the run.”
North Pontotoc took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a triple by Melanie Works and an RBI single to center field by Courtney Quillian.
The Lady Vikings, down 7-1, rallied with a four-run fifth inning. Danyel Raby, Meggen Nelson, Works, Quillian and Shanda Melton all had hits for the home team. Melton’s was a double.
For the winners, Payne led the way with four hits while Noe added three. Sydney Clayton’s double was the lone extra base hit for the Lady Tigers.
Raby’s four hits paced the Lady Vikings while Works and Quillian had three each. Works added a double.

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal