For six innings, Purvis was in control against East Central Tuesday night. Behind a one-run fifth and a two-run sixth, the Lady Tornadoes held a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning against the Lady Hornets in game of their best-of-three playoff series. 

“Everything was kind of flowing our way,” said Purvis head coach David Entrekin. “Then, that last inning, it kind of went the opposite.”

East Central scored three runs in the seventh to send the game to extra innings. Then, in the eighth, the Lady Hornets took a 4-3 lead. Just like that, the Lady Tornadoes were down to their final three outs. 

No problem. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Purvis scored twice to take game one in walk-off fashion, 5-4. With two outs, Gracey Baucom tied it, 4-4, with an RBI single, and Kadie Hale followed with the game-winning hit, driving in pinch-runner Elise Jackson. 

“I was really proud with how our girls responded, because I know everybody was let down when we go up 3-0 in the seventh and they [East Central] come back to tie it,” Entrekin said. “But for them to stay up and come back with those two outs to win it, I was just proud of the effort tonight.

“It would have been easy to put that head down.”

Hale and Baucom finished with two RBI apiece to lead the Lady Tornadoes. Baucom also got the start on the mound for Purvis and pitched out of several jams in her complete game effort, including a bases-loaded situation in the third inning. 

“I thought we played really good defense all game,” Entrekin said. “Gracey threw a great game, and our defense played behind her.”

Purvis improved to 15-7 with the win, and the Lady Tornadoes will go for the series sweep and a berth into the third round of the Class 4A playoffs Thursday night at East Central. 

“Game one at home with a good crowd, the way we did it, it feels really good going into Thursday,” Entrekin added. “We gotta show up Thursday, because I know they [East Central] will be ready to play for sure.”