High school softball: Dramatic rally keeps Airline alive in 5A playoffs

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Down to their last three outs, the Airline Lady Vikings rallied with three runs in the top of the seventh and went on to defeat Alexandria Senior High 6-4 in eight innings in the second round of the Class 5A softball playoffs Tuesday in Alexandria.

Airline (27-3), the No. 2 seed, will host No. 23 Destrehan (16-16) in the quarterfinals Saturday at 1 p.m. Destrehan upset No. 7 Northshore 1-0 in 13 innings in the second round.

ASH (16-16), the No. 18 seed, was on the verge of a big upset with a 4-1 lead after six innings, but the Lady Vikings weren’t ready for their season to end.

Makenzie Chaffin led off the top of the top of the seventh with a single, her third hit of the game.

Maddie Ennis was hit by a pitch with one out, putting runners at first and second. Caroline Easom then doubled to right field, scoring Chaffin and Ennis and cutting ASH’s lead to one.

Freshman Jina Baffuto followed with a single to center, scoring Easom the with tying run. The Lady Trojans then turned a double play.

Airline sophomore Raelin Chaffin struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.

Lexi Gray led off the top of the eighth with a double and Brooklyn Brandon was hit by a pitch. Makenzie Chaffin hit a hard shot to center and Gray scored on an error.

Another error on an Ennis ground ball allowed Brandon to score, making it 6-4.

Raelin Chaffin set the Lady Trojans down in order in the bottom of the inning, getting two strikeouts and a flyout to center fielder Jessica Baffuto.

Makenzie Chaffin went 3-for-5 and Gray went 2-for-4. Jessica Baffuto, Jina Baffuto, Ennis, Easom and Paris Endris had one hit apiece.

Raelin Chaffin allowed six hits, but she walked only one and struck out 16.

The game was scoreless through three innings. ASH scored three in the top of the fourth on three hits, including two doubles, a walk and an error.

Airline cut the lead to two in the top of the fifth. Makenzie Chaffin led off with a double and scored on a triple by Ennis to right. The Lady Vikings could’ve had more but left two runners on base.

The Lady Trojans scored one with two outs in the bottom of the inning on a single followed by a double.

Airline went down in order in the sixth, setting the stage for the dramatic comeback.