In each of the Lady Tartars’ last two games, they have found themselves trailing late with in high-pressure situations. But on Monday night, for the second straight time, the unit stepped up to the plate when it mattered most to earn a crucial playoff victory.
Taylorsville hosted St. Patrick in the first game of the third round of playoffs. Though offense was difficult to come by for both teams, the Lady Tartars came through in clutch with three late runs for a 3-2 win.
“I was very proud of the way we played defensively,” commended Coach Grissom, “and our pitching, because that kept us in the ballgame. We didn’t bring the sticks tonight. We had one good inning on offense, and fortunately that was enough.”
That one good inning came in the bottom of the sixth, trailing 1-0 to the Fighting Irish. Tia Keyes scored the first run on a double hit to left field by Emma Rankin. Two at-bats later, two more runs scored on a triple by Kolten Blakeney to give them a 3-1 advantage going into the seventh. The Irish battled back and scored one on a fielder’s choice to narrow the deficit to 3-2 with two outs in the inning, but an infield pop fly ended the game to give Taylorsville a win to start the series.
Lauren Stringer was the winning pitcher on the evening, surrendering two runs on six hits and striking out eight.
Coach Grissom praises his team for their resilience to keep battling back in tough situations. “I have to give them credit: these girls hate to lose. When we get behind, it irks them. It’s that never quit attitude that drives them to play so well. Sometimes we may come up short, but these girls never give up, and I’m proud of that.”
The Lady Tartars are now just one victory away from yet another trip to the 2A South State Championship series. They will play at St. Patrick on Wednesday evening, and if needed, the series will be decided on Thursday with a winner-takes-all game back at Taylorsville High School.
(Article written by Brad Crowe)