The Airline Lady Vikings are closing in on the District 1-5A softball championship.
Freshman Raelin Chaffin pitched a two-hitter and her older sister Makenzie, a junior, smacked a home run in a 1-0 victory over Evangel Christian on Tuesday at Airline.
The Lady Vikings improved to 19-4 overall and 9-0 in district. They lead Evangel (17-6, 6-2) by two games in the loss column with three to play.
Airline and Evangel shared the district title last year, splitting the district series. The Lady Vikings swept the Lady Eagles this year, winning the first matchup 5-0 on March 1.
Airline can clinch at least a share of the title with a victory over Parkway at home on Thursday.
In another 1-5A game, Parkway routed Captain Shreve 15-2 in five innings at Parkway. In a non-district game, the Haughton Lady Bucs downed Benton 10-3 at Benton.
At Airline, Makenzie Chaffin came to bat with two outs in the fourth in a scoreless game. She had walked and flied out in her first two plate appearances. This time Chaffin sent the second pitch she saw over the center field fence.
It was the only run her sister would need. Raelin Chaffin struck out eight and walked two.
Evangel’s Ellie DuBois allowed just five hits, but the Lady Vikings missed some opportunities to put more runs on the board.
Airline loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first on a walk and back-to-back singles by Jessica Baffuto and Brooklyn Brandon. But the Lady Vikings couldn’t take advantage.
They loaded them again in the second with two outs on an error, a single by Lexi Gray and a walk. But DuBois got a strikeout to end the threat.
Evangel got a runner to third only once, in the third inning, thanks to a single, hit-by-pitch and passed ball. But Chaffin induced a ground ball for the final out.
Evangel’s Tally Turnbow doubled with two outs in the sixth, but Chaffin struck out the next batter.
Airline loaded the bases again in the seventh with one out but again couldn’t score.
Chaffin struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.
At Parkway, eight Lady Panthers combined for 15 hits.
Davida Anderson led the way, going 3-for-3. Maecy Ingram went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI.
Faith Ingles had two doubles and three RBI. Abbie Norcross had two hits and two RBI.
Makayla Strother and Skylar Bernard had two hits each. Pitcher Allie Hunt had a two-RBI triple.
Parkway improved to 4-4 in district.
At Benton, Haughton took a 5-2 lead with five runs in the third and then added two in the fifth and three in the sixth.
Haughton’s Shelby Hensley went 2-for-3 with three RBI. McKayla Burkart went 2-for-2 with a double.
Lauren Edwards had a double and two RBI. Savannah Salley hit a two-run homer in the fifth and finished with four RBI.
Leah Hopson allowed five hits and struck out six.
Benton pitcher Ashley Hunter went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Emily Angelo, Taylor Jones and Rylie Roberson all had doubles.
Haughton improved to 11-9. Benton dropped to 10-13.
NOTE: The above report is based on information on teams’ official GameChanger accounts.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org