Mustangs strand game-tying run at third, Billingsley holds on

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Billingsley's Payton Wallace (right) cruises into third base before Isabella's Briana Tyler can receive the throw to try to make a tag during Tuesday's game.

Billingsley’s Payton Wallace (right) cruises into third base before Isabella’s Briana Tyler can receive the throw to try to make a tag during Tuesday’s game.

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

Down by one run and down to their final three outs, Isabella’s varsity softball team failed to advance the tying run after a successful leadoff bunt to start the bottom of the seventh inning and ultimately fell to visiting Billingsley, 3-2.

The Bears got on the board first in the top half of the first inning when a Payton Wallace double to left-center field led to a run-scoring single by Katlyn Childress to give the Bears (8-3 overall, 2-0 area) an early 1-0 lead.

Childress also handled pitching duties for the Bears and managed to make short work of the Mustangs in the bottom half of the first inning by striking out the side.

Both teams went down in order through the second inning as well as the top of the third for the Bears.

The Mustangs (11-4, 2-1) picked up their first hit of the game in the bottom of the third inning on an Alexis Burnett infield single, but it resulted in no runs for the home team and the Bears would continue to lead 1-0 after three innings.

With the defense forcing the Bears into a third straight three-up, three-down inning, the Mustangs tied the score in the bottom half of the fourth inning.

A bunt by Chelsea Cox looked to be a routine out, but the throw to first base sailed into right field and allowed Cox to advance to third. Cox later crossed home to bring the score to a 1-all tie.

The Bears answered in the top of the fifth inning with two runs of their own. Consecutive singles by Makaela Tindol and Abby Tindol set up a two-run double by Payton Wallace to give the Bears a 3-1 lead.

Another Isabella runner stranded on base in the bottom half of the fifth inning kept the score at 3-1 in favor of the Bears.

After a scoreless top of the sixth inning, the Mustangs closed to within one run of the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Kacie Adams crossed home plate on a passed ball after reaching base on a double to center field.

Going into the final inning of play, the Bears led 3-2.

With Billingsley’s batters going down quietly in the top half of the seventh inning, the Mustangs were down to their final three outs, needing at least one run to extend the game or two runs to win.

A leadoff bunt by Jayda Jones put the tying run on first base with no outs. Jones advanced to second on a wild pitch, but a strikeout knocked the Mustangs down to two outs.

An infield ground ball advanced Jones to third but would resulted in the second out of the inning.

With the tying run on third and the Mustangs down to their final out, a pop fly to Bears shortstop Anna Asbury ended the game and gave the Bears their eighth win of the season.

Childress pitched a complete game for the Bears, allowing no earned runs on four hits while striking out 12 batters.

Wallace led the Bears at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.

Cox handled the pitching for the Mustangs and allowed three earned runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out five in a complete game effort.