Comfortable situations can turn uncomfortable in a hurry. Mize softball experience it first hand Tuesday night. It’s eight-run lead in the top of the seventh – needing only three outs to claim its first Region 6-2A title under head coach Nick Lee – quickly began to be dismantled.
Puckett’s late two-out rally in the top of the seventh was enough to put everyone on edge. Mize ended Puckett’s seventh-inning rally two runs short of being forced to complete the inning Tuesday night. Mize (15-7) held off Puckett (7-8) 8-6 in its last Region 6-2A game of the regular season. The win gives Mize its first region title since 2012 and first under Lee’s direction.
Click on the link to see video highlights and our post-game interview with Mize head coach Nick Lee: https://youtu.be/by_WI4rQMBs
Scoring in five of its six innings at the plate, Mize scored the bulk of its runs in the sixth. A two-run double by Braelyn Boykin highlighted the three-run sixth. Two batters later, Savannah Bryant scored courtesy runner Brianna Lingle on a single to left field – her second hit of the night. The RBI single completed the lady Bulldogs’ three-run sixth with its eighth and final run of the contest. The sophomore also recorded an RBI double to right field back in the third.
Bryant led Mize with at the plate with two hits and two RBI. Anna Strickland had multiple hits in the win, too. Boykin, Abby Welborn, Madison Craft, Gracie Foster and Abigail Waters all aided with solo hits as well. Craft and Foster finished with an RBI apiece.
Boykin earned the win on the rubber for Mize, pitching six shutout innings before Puckett rallied with six runs in the seventh with two outs. The senior allowed one earned run on nine hits and fanned six Lady Wolves at the plate. Boykin finished with 78 strikes in 107 total pitches thrown and no walks.
Mize committed five errors, most of which came in the top of the seventh that allowed Puckett’s late six-run, two out rally.
A first-round playoff bye is awarded to all region title winners in MHSAA Class 2A softball. Mize awaits the winner of the first-round series between Perry Central and Clarkdale. Round two of the playoffs will begin next Tuesday.