The Airline Lady Vikings suffered their first District 1-5A loss in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday night at Airline.
Evangel Christian Academy pitcher Emily Deramus singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th and the Lady Eagles went on to win 3-2.
Evangel (14-4, 5-1) moved within a half-game of 1-5A leader Airline (13-6, 6-1). The Lady Eagles also avenged a 2-1 loss to the Lady Vikings on Feb. 23 at Evangel.
Elsewhere in District 1-5A, the Parkway Lady Panthers fell to Southwood 9-3 at Southwood.
At Airline, both teams got gutsy pitching performances. Deramus and Airline’s Hannah Hutson both went the distance.
Deramus allowed six hits and struck out 12. Hutson allowed 12 hits but only one run through the first five innings.
After a scoreless first three innings, Airline scored two in the bottom of the fourth.
Maddie Ennis led off with a single. Molly Dickens, running for Ennis, advanced to second on Patty Pettway’s sacrifice bunt. Kourtnee White’s single moved Dickens to third.
Hannah Hutson walked to load the bases. Lexi Gray’s two-out single scored Dickens and White.
The Lady Eagles cut the lead in half with a run in the top of the fifth and tied it in the sixth.
The Lady Vikings threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Caroline Easom singled with one out and Ennis walked with two outs. But Deramus got a groundout to end the threat and the game went into extra innings.
Evangel led off the eighth with back-to-back walks. But Hutson was up to the challenge, striking out two Lady Eagles and getting another to fly out.
Both teams got a runner on base in the ninth but couldn’t advance them.
The Lady Eagles loaded the bases in the 10th with one out. Hutson struck out the next batter and got a groundout to close the inning.
Deramus struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th. Bayley Mayo led off the 11th with a double and moved to third on a groundout to second. She scored on Deramus’ single to center field.
Hutson walked to lead off the bottom of the inning. The Lady Vikings’ next three batters all made contact, but the results were a popout, groundout and flyout.
At Southwood, Madelyn Elliott went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI in Parkway’s loss. Lauren Jones also had two hits.
Parkway dropped to 8-9 overall and 2-5 in district. Southwood improved to 11-7 and 1-4.
NOTE: The above report is based on information on teams’ official GameChanger accounts.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com