Unable to deliver a crushing blow inning – much like it did in Game 2 with a five-run sixth – South Jones narrowly fell to North Pike 3-2 in Game 3 of the MHSAA Class 5A second-round softball playoffs Thursday night. North Pike advances to round three with the series win.
South Jones forced Game 3 in Ellisville earlier in the evening with a 7-3 win over North Pike in Game 2 by scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Click on the link to see video highlights of the game and hear the full post-game interview with South Jones head coach Ryan Hodge: https://youtu.be/oBY28YxZt_M
South Jones had its opportunities. In the bottom of the seventh, trailing North Pike 3-1, South Jones loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. Leadoff batter Cabrea Thrash singled to score South Jones’ second run of the ball game.
Thrash led the Lady Braves at the plate with two hits and two RBI. Her first hit and RBI of Game 3 came in the bottom of the sixth. It put South Jones on the board and narrowed North Pike’s lead to 3-1.
With another opportunity to deliver a crushing blow to North Pike, South Jones three-hole hitter Jade Hall flew out to shallow right field as pinch runner Lexi Bullock at third base is thrown out at the plate trying to tie the game at three runs apiece. The double-play by North Pike ended the game and began its celebration.
South Jones also loaded the bases in the sixth with two outs but a fly out to center field ended the threat.
Grace Stringer went the distance in Game 2 and 3 on the rubber. Stringer had a total of 10 strikeouts on Thursday, tossing 14 innings in the two games combined. The senior allowed six runs on 10 North Pike hits.
North Pike (11-14) advances to round three with the series win. South Jones finishes the 2018 season 14-8 overall.