High school softball: Airline loses heartbreaker to Barbe in 5A semifinals

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The Airline Lady Vikings lost a 7-6 heartbreaker to the Barbe Lady Bucs in the semifinals of the Class 5A softball playoffs Friday evening in Sulphur.

The Lady Vikings led 6-4 going into the top of the seventh, but the Lady Bucs put three on the board to take the lead.

Airline loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh on singles by Jina Baffuto and Lexi Gray and an error. But Barbe’s Halie Pappion got a popup and strikeout to end the game.

Airline, the No. 2 seed, closed the season 28-4. The Lady Vikings reached the semifinals for the first time since 2007.

Barbe (29-5), the No. 3 seed, will face No. 4 St. Amant (27-2-1) for the state championship at 11 a.m. Saturday. St. Amant defeated No. 8 Walker 2-1 in its semifinal.

Airline started strong, scoring two runs in the first and one in the third. Barbe took the lead with four in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of two hits, an error, walk, hit-by-pitch and sacrifice.

Airline regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning. With two on, Caroline Easom hit an RBI-double to tie it. A sacrifice fly by Jessica Baffuto made it 5-4. Gray then brought another run home with a two-out single and Airline led 6-4.

Pappion hit a two-run homer with one out to tie it. A two-out double off the wall gave the Lady Bucs the lead.

Jessica Baffuto’s clutch hitting helped the Lady Vikings take the early lead.

After a triple by Makenzie Chaffin and two walks loaded the bases in the first, Baffuto’s two-out single scored two runs.

With two on and two out in the third, Grubbs hit another single to score a run and make it 3-0.

The game was the final one for seniors Jessica Baffuto, Maddie Ennis, Brooklyn Brandon and Makenzie Chaffin. Baffuto, Ennis and Brandon helped the Lady Vikings win three straight District 1-5A titles. Chaffin played a big role in the last two.