The race for the District 1-5A championship tightened considerably Thursday night.
The Natchitoches Central Lady Chiefs handed the Haughton Lady Bucs their first district loss 8-4 in Natchitoches.
Natchitoches Central (13-7, 5-1), Haughton (12-9, 4-1) and Airline (11-6, 4-1) are all tied for first in the loss column.
The Lady Chiefs have one district game left Tuesday at Parkway (5-6, 2-3).
Haughton and Benton (9-6, 1-2) are scheduled to complete their game that was suspended by inclement weather March 17 on Monday. The Lady Bucs lead 7-5 in the top of the eighth.
Haughton’s final district game is scheduled for Tuesday at Captain Shreve (10-8, 3-2).
Airline, which defeated Neville 14-4 Thursday in a non-district game, has district games left against Byrd (4-11, 0-5) Tuesday at Airline and Southwood (10-6, 0-4) Thursday, March 31, at Southwood.
The Benton-Parkway game scheduled for Thursday at Parkway was postponed because of poor field conditions and rescheduled for April 6.
At Natchitoches Central, the Lady Chiefs broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Those came after the Lady Bucs scored a run to tie it in the top of the inning on Ella Vickers’ two-out RBI-double.
Vickers and Kylie Small both went 2-for-4 with one double each. Brooklynn Brandon hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Ariana Matthews had a two-RBI single that gave the Lady Bucs a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. The Lady Chiefs got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Natchitoches Central’s Morgan Dawson and Maddie Robinson both hit home runs.
Robinson, the winning pitcher, also had a double and three RBI.
At Neville, Airline’s Paige Marshall went 4-for-4 with two RBI.
Jina Baffuto and Elena Heng both went 3-for-4. Heng had three RBI and Baffuto two.
Lindsey Marcinkus went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Paris Endris smacked a two-run home run.
Pitcher Emily Rachal had two RBI.
Note: The above report is based in part on information provided by by coaches or available on teams’ official GameChanger accounts.