By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
MOOREVILLE – The battle for Lee County fastpitch softball supremacy came down to one play Tuesday night.
Mooreville, which rallied from a 5-1 deficit to force extra innings, scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a throwing error to defeat Saltillo 6-5 on an international tiebreaker.
The visiting Lady Tigers lost when a bad throw to first base on Vic White’s bunt allowed the Miah Edmonds to score the winning run from second.
“A great battle between two great teams,” Saltillo coach Lee Buse said. “Late in the game we made a couple of mistakes and Mooreville capitalized.”
Added Mooreville coach Perry Wilburn, “In extra innings, with international play, it’s whoever gets the break. Our kids never quit.”
Class 3A Mooreville improved to 11-3 overall while 5A Saltillo saw its record dip to 8-4.
“We have a good team this year and so does Mooreville,” Buse said. “I expect to see both teams go deep in the playoffs.”
Hallie Frenn, a senior righthander and Gulf Coast Community College signee, went the distance for Saltillo. She recorded 11 strikeouts, walked four and scattered 10 hits.
“She’s our workhorse,” Buse said. “She’s been dominant.”
Mooreville seventh grader Hallie Donald pitched five innings of strong relief to earn the win on the mound. The righthander and team’s starting second baseman one-hit the Lady Tigers, recorded four strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
Mooreville starter Teri Richey, who underwent offseason shoulder surgery, struggled with her control and was lifted in the third for reliever Alex White.
“Teri never could get in a groove,” Wilburn said. “We’ve got three good pitchers with Alex and Hallie. I thought Hallie came in and did a great job.”
Betsy Kingsley, who made two standout defensive plays at shortstop, Meagan Edmonds and White had two hits apiece for the Troopers. Donald added a triple.
Maddie Lukens paced the Tigers with two hits, including a 2-RBI double. Ninth grader Maggie Wigginton added a single and had an early sacrifice bunt.