Lady Demons lose tough one to PRHS

Published 5:59 am Friday, March 29, 2013

Franklinton’s Lady Demons suffered a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to Pearl River Tuesday in a midday district road contest.

Franklinton (10-13), which was 4-2 in district at press time, did not trail until the final play on the chilly and windy day.

The Lady Demons took a 6-4 lead to the seventh, but Pearl River (10-9, 3-3) loaded the bases with nobody out. Kasey Johnsen doubled to right centerfield before Brooke Heinz singled her to third. Alyssa Ross was then hit to fill the bases with the potential winning run on first.

Following a strikeout, Jenna Lizana came up and cleared the bases, belting a pitch to straightaway center field. Johnsen, Heinz both scored and Ross raced in from first with the winning run.

“It felt amazing,” Lizana said. “I was so scared being that last inning. It was our last chance to win and we’re down by two (6-4). I was just praying that I hit it in the hole or somewhere where they couldn’t get to it.”

It was the second meeting between the two clubs. They also met at Franklinton March 7. The teams have proven to be evenly matched, splitting the contests with the home team winning each 7-6.

Franklinton coach Leslie McGhee said it was a real tough loss.

“First being a district game, second of all, being ahead just about the whole game and then couldn’t finish,” McGhee said. “It’s been a tough one to finish this year.”

Franklinton was 2-4 in games decided by three runs or less at press time.

Both offenses struggled through the first two innings with neither team getting a hit and nobody advancing past first base.

FHS got on the board in a big way, scoring four runs in the third.

With one out, Baylee Mixon singled down the third base line. Mixon finished with two hits and an RBI. After a force out, Darien Dykes singled before Brittney Burch lined an RBI single to center to open the scoring with Hailey Sanford tallying. Dykes made it 2-0 when she came home on an errant pickoff throw to third. Khristian Capo reached from an error and Laken Spears walked to load the bases. Carley Shipley and Alex Williams produced back-to-back run-scoring singles to left and center respectively and the Lady Demons seemed to be in good shape with a 4-0 lead.

But Pearl River responded with four of its own. Ross singled with one out and scored on Megan Holifield’s RBI double to straightaway center, trimming it to 4-1. Consecutive errors led to Lizana and Roy reaching and the Lady Rebels adding two more to make it 4-3.

Bailey Phillips tied things 4-4, lifting a sacrifice fly.

Franklinton went back in front 6-4 in the fifth.

Shipley doubled to left center. Williams put down a sacrifice bunt, but reached on a dropped throw to first.

Williams swiped second. Shipley scored on a wild pitch, and Williams crossed the plate when Mixon collected her second hit, a two-out RBI single over third. It was 6-4.

Pearl River nearly got it to 6-5 in the sixth, but a runner was thrown out at home, trying to score on a potential wild pitch.

Franklinton took its 6-4 lead to the bottom of the seventh, but the Lady Rebels loaded the bases and Lizana cleared them with a walk-off three-run double.

Pearl River coach Courtney Kemp said it was a good win for her team.

“They were excited,” Kemp said. “They’ve been working hard. We’ve been falling short a lot this season, so I’m glad that now they’re finally fighting all of the way to the end.”