Solid defense and pitching kept Purvis squarely in contention with undefeated Lawrence County Monday night. But unfortunately for the Lady Tornadoes, the lack of timely hits stood in their way of knocking off the Lady Cougars, who improved to 18-0 with a 3-0 win. 

Purvis’ best chance to plate its first run came in the bottom of the fifth after Andee Robertson led off with a double. Three outs later, the Lady Tornadoes were still scoreless with Lawrence County up 1-0 headed to the sixth. It was one of several instances on the night where Purvis left runners on base, only to come up empty handed. 

“We just couldn’t get the big hit we needed,” Lady Tornado head coach David Entrekin said. “They [Lawrence County] are 18-0 for a reason. They have probably the best pitcher in the division. We just had trouble with her. But our girls competed tonight, and I was proud of that effort.”

Lawrence County tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning off a pair of RBI doubles from Josey Nations and Lahna Stephens, pushing their lead to 3-0, the final score. 

Sarah Ballard went the distance on the mound for Purvis and was one of the bright spots in the loss, said Entrekin. 

“Sarah’s been out about a month with an injury, and we just got her back. I wasn’t really expecting her to throw the whole game, but she’s a competitor. She showed a lot of heart and battled all night. Really proud of the effort on defense and Sarah’s pitching.”

Now, with the loss behind them and the regular season winding down, the Lady Tornadoes face a tough task if they wish to qualify for the playoffs. 

“We have four games left. We have Greene County Thursday. And Sumrall and Forrest County twice next week,” Entrekin said. “So I believe we pretty much hold our own destiny. We have to win all four to get in. It will come down to Thursday and three games next week. It’s going to come down to the wire.”

As Entrekin mentioned, Purvis will be back in action Thursday night at Greene County. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 pm.