By Lisa Voyles
HOULKA – The Houlka Lady Wildcats jumped out to an early lead over Myrtle in game one of 1A playoffs, but the Lady Hawks dug in for the long haul and pulled off the 6-5 win.
The Lady Hawks went three-up, three down in the first two innings behind Cara Martin’s pitching and the Houlka girls reached base in the first but couldn’t plate a run.
The Lady Cats got on the board in the bottom of the frame starting with Chianne Edington’s double and Martin’s sacrifice bunt that moved her to third. Cassie Homan reached on a bunt and a Lady Hawks error allowed her a double that scored Edington.
The Lady Hawks capitalized on a Houlka error in the fourth for a double by Meshay Cox and Lauren Coggin hit a shot over second that sent her home. Ashton Hogue’s double scored Coggin and put the Myrtle girls up 2-1.
Houlka evened the score in the bottom of the fourth as Temp Webb’s triple scored Angel Townsend and they went up, 4-2 in the fifth, but Myrtle tied it back up in the top of the sixth with Cox leading the rally with a triple and Coggin’s sac fly sending her across the plate. Hogue singled and Amber Cook doubled to send her home before Martin struck out Kellan Tanner to end the frame.
The score remained tied through the seventh inning, forcing the tie-breaker.
Myrtle loaded the bases but Houlka’s Kennedy Warren turned a double play from second to Shaniece McKinney at first, allowing only one run to score and the Lady Cats scored Webb on a sac fly by Edington to reclaim the tie and force another inning.
Cook’s single sent Hogue home from second for the winning run as the Lady Wildcats stranded runners at second and third, unable to plate one.
The action was scheduled to return to Myrtle Monday to conclude the best-of-three series.
Lady Cats close in playoffs
The Lady Wildcats battled to a close finish Monday, but the scoreboard did not fall in their favor.
The Lady Hawks hit the board first with two runs in the first inning and the Lady Wildcats matched them in the top of the fourth to tie things up, 2-all.
But the Lady Hawks regained the edge with a run in the bottom of the fifth and held the Lady Wildcats off home plate to take the 3-2 win.
Shaniece McKinney and Cassie Homan recorded multiple hits with McKinney and Angel Townsend both hitting triples.