By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
FULTON – All Pontotoc had to do was get one more out but that one out was all Hatley needed to pick up a 5-4 win Wednesday evening in the 4th Annual ICC Spring Break Softball Tournament.
Pontotoc pitcher Kaitlyn Alexander (6-2) held Hatley to a five hits through six innings and had her team ahead 4-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh.
Mollie Comer led the inning off with a lined single to left and took second base on a wild pitch. After an out, Kelsey Wilson’s walk and Deanna Wright’s fielder’s choice, Comer scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 4-3.
Courtney Roberts singled to keep the rally alive and after both runners advanced on a pitch that went to the backstop, Amber Fulton reached when a booted ball at first base resulted in a throw to the first-base fence that allowed the runners to score and end the game.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” said Hatley coach Chris George. “We got lucky there at the end. They made a mistake and we took advantage of it.”
Hatley pitcher Lesley Hudson (3-3) saved a run of her own earlier with a nice stop from the circle and throw to first and a relay from right field to Jamelle Vance got Pontotoc runner Haley Spears at third to end the sixth.
Pontotoc had taken a 2-0 first inning lead on the strength of Alexander’s sac fly to score Brianna Farr and Olivia Owen’s triple to the right field gap to score Spears.
Hatley (3-4) cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first on Hudson’s two-out RBI single. She had two of Hatley’s hits. Spears had three hits for Pontotoc.
The Lady Warriors (6-2) got the run back on Alexander’s second RBI, this a third-inning double.
Hatley pulled within a run, 3-2 on Taylor Barrett’s RBI single but Pontotoc got its two-run lead back in the fifth on Hilary Parrish’s two-out RBI single.
“Crucial opportunities to get outs and we didn’t get them,” Pontotoc coach Shane Ard said. “They hit the ball in critical times and scored when they needed to.”
George said the Lady Tigers are working on correcting hitting problems that have plagued the defending North 2A champs through seven games.
“Right now it’s just bad swings,” he said. “We’re working on shortening them up and getting to the ball a little bit better. It will come around.”