By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
MOOREVILLE – Division 2-3A could have gotten messy. Nettleton kept that from happening Monday night.
The three-time defending champion Lady Tigers scored a run in the eighth inning to beat Mooreville 8-7 in another chapter of this rivalry to clinch the division title.
“They play big. We play big,” Nettleton coach Dana Rhea said. “I think both teams hit the ball extremely well. I thought both pitchers threw extremely well. It was just a great game all the way around.”
Mooreville and Mantchie will decide the final two seeds Thursday.
Using the international tiebreaker, Korie Beth Leach started the eighth inning at second, advanced on Chelsea Tucker’s groundout and scored on pitcher MariAnna Young’s single.
The Lady Tigers (17-2, 5-1) broke a tie game with two runs in the seventh inning to take a 7-5 lead on Lauren Baldwyn’s RBI double and a single by Makenzie Hawkins.
trouble on the path
Mooreville (17-7, 3-2) tied it after Skylar Gregory singled and scored on an error. Meagan Edmonds’ double off the wall plated pitcher Hallie Donald but Edmonds ran though Mooreville coach Perry Wilburn’s sign and was thrown out at third. Miah Edmonds followed with a single with no one on.
It was the third base running blunder for the Lady Troopers, who failed to advance a runner in the eighth inning, despite commands from Wilburn.
“We always battle each other and always will,” Wilburn said. “We made too many base running mistakes. It was simple.”
Wilburn started hard-throwing Donald (4-4), not junior pitcher Teri Richey, who had off-season shoulder surgery. The hits were even at 11.
Nettleton scored four runs in the top of the third. Mooreville scored three in the fourth and tied it at 5 on Donald’s triple and passed ball in the fifth.
“We came together as a team tonight,” said Young, who improved to 16-2. “The goal is to make it down to Jackson.”