Hoxie stuns Lady Lions with late inning rally

Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Lady Lions Ashlyn Jolly lifts a fly ball during Manila's district tournament semifinal game against Hoxie Saturday afternoon at Rivercrest

Hoxie scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning before holding Manila scoreless in the seventh, stunning the Lady Lions 5-4 in 3A-3 District Tournament semifinal action Saturday afternoon at Rivercrest.

The Lady Lions took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, scoring an unearned run on an error by Hoxie first baseman Kaitlin Henson. Manila tacked on three more runs in the top of the sixth to go ahead 4-0. Ashlyn Jolly got things started with a sharp single to right field. Ali Smith laid down a perfect bunt and beat the throw to first, putting two runners on. Ashten Wallace followed with a ringing RBI single up the middle, giving the Lady Lions a 2-0 edge. Sydney Adcock plated another run with an RBI groundout before Wallace scampered home with the third run of the inning on a passed ball, giving Manila a 4-0 lead.

Entering the bottom of the sixth, Wallace was working on a one-hit shutout, and had fanned 13 Lady Mustangs. Wallace got the first out of the inning, but suddenly lost the strike zone and walked four consecutive batters, forcing in Hoxie’s first run of the game. An RBI single by Henson on a soft fly ball that fell in between second base and right field sliced the Manila lead to 4-2 with the bases still loaded. Wallace’s fifth base on balls of the inning forced in yet another run, cutting the Manila margin to 4-3. After a force out at home produced the second out of the inning, Abby Guntharp lined a two-run single just over the outstretched glove of Lady Lion shortstop Sasha Pannells, scoring two runs and giving Hoxie a 5-4 lead.

Manila catcher Madison Bibbs frames a pitch from Lady Lion hurler Ashten Wallace in Saturday afternoon's district tournament semifinals at Rivercrest.

Manila threatened in the top of the seventh, getting runners at second and third with two outs, but Ali Smith lined out to the pitcher to end the game, sending Hoxie to the tournament finals Monday. The Lady Lions will play the consolation game at noon on Monday.

Jill Helton led Manila at the plate, going 4-4, all singles. Micah Lancaster also singled for the Lady Lions.

Wallace was the hard luck loser, allowing just three hits while striking out 13 and walking seven. Mackenzie Orrick picked up the win, working seven innings, allowing four runs, two earned. Orrick gave up eight hits, fanned one and walked five.

Manila advanced to the semis with a 13-3, five-inning victory over Corning Wednesday afternoon. Wallace was the winner, going five innings, allowing three runs, five hits, striking out 11 and walking two.

Pannells delivered the big blow, smashing a two-run homer. Pannells also doubled and scored twice. Smith hammered a two-run triple and scored a run, Bibbs doubled, scored once, and had four RBI while Wallace drilled a pair of singles, scored once, and had one RBI. Jolly singled twice and scored two runs, Brailey Hampton singled, tripled, scored once, and drove in one while Helton slapped an RBI single and scored twice. Lancaster and Adcock both scored runs.

Manila will participate in the 3A Regional Tournament beginning Thursday at Harrison.

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