Hatley (21-8) overcame a 3-0 and 8-4 hole to beat Eupora 11-8 Thursday night in Game 1 of the best-of-three.
“I can’t say enough about our girls,” Hatley coach Chris George said. “They battled back, took the lead and never looked back.”
Trailing 8-4 in the bottom of the second, winning pitcher Lesley Hudson’s sacrifice fly made it 8-5 and Katy Duling was hit by a Lexie Boykin pitch to pull within 8-6.
In the bottom of the fourth, Hatley went ahead for good. After Amber Dean replaced Boykin on the mound for Eupora, Mallory Ashcraft provided an RBI groundout and Courtney Roberts beat out an infield single to tie the game at 8. Deanna Wright’s two-run single put Hatley up 10-8.
Jamelle Vance scored on Ashcraft’s RBI single in the fifth for a three-run cushion.
Eupora (22-11) had gone ahead 8-4 in the fourth on Lashanda Embry’s three-run triple.
Game 2, and 3 if necessary, is schedule for Saturday at 1 p.m.
West Union 5 Smithville 3
In the Class 1A North finals, Smithville (24-6) had battled back to tie the game at two on Meagan Whitehead’s seventh inning groundout, but West Union (22-7) scored via international rule on Whitehead’s throwing error and eighth grader Bailey Bogue bounced a two-run home run off the top of the fence in dead center propel West Union’s win.
It was the first home run of Bogue’s career.
“She’s been doing that in batting practice and that’s why we took the chance on her,” West Union coach – and mother Lisa Bogue said, “but to step up in a game of this caliber with that much pressure was amazing.”
The series now shifts to West Union, a 2 p.m. start on Saturday.
“I think we can beat them twice but it’s going to be tough, especially going up there,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said. “If we don’t make the error in the top of the eighth, I think we’ve got a chance,” especially with Kami running the bases. We just blew it.”
Roberts flew out to end the seventh with Kelsi Watson representing the winning run at third base. She started the eighth on second and scored on Mallory Cooley’s RBI single. Danielle Taylor threw the complete game win for the Lady Eagles. Roberts took the loss.