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Panthers outlast Billingsley in 11 innings

By Brandon Sumrall|Special to the Advertiser
A three hour and 33 minute thriller finally bounced the way of Jemison as the Panthers picked up a hard fought 12-7 win in 11 innings on the road against the Billingsley Bears on April 11.

After two innings of scoreless play, where both team’s pitchers mowed through the opposing lineup, it was the Bears that struck first blood in the bottom half of the third inning.

Madison Motley got things started with a one-out single that set up an RBI double by Abby Tindol.

With Tindol aboard, a dropped third strike to MacKenzie Caver resulted in a throw down to third that sailed into right field and led to both Tindol and Caver scoring to give Billingsley a three-run lead.

The Panthers answered with two runs of their own in the top of fourth inning, thanks to a two-run bomb by Hannah-Rose Corbin that cut the Billingsley lead to one.

The game’s first lead change came in the top of sixth, thanks to a few Billingsley errors, as the Panthers tacked on three more runs.

A walk to Corbin set up an RBI double by Destiny Bailey and Bailey and Sara Epperson scored thanks to errors, Jemison took a 5-3 lead.

Down to their final three outs, the Bears answered the call in the bottom half of the seventh, as a two-run triple by Casey Headley scored two Billingsley runs and sent the game into extra innings tied at five-all.

With the international tie break rule in affect, the eighth inning came and went with neither team able to add runs to the board and sent the game to the ninth still tied at five.

A Billingsley error to start the inning allowed a leadoff hit by Kennise Bolton and a one-out double by Shelby Crowson to put Jemison ahead by one. Crowson would later score on another Bears error and gave Jemison a 7-5 lead.

With two outs and a 2-2 count in the bottom of the ninth inning, a clutch two-RBI double by Tindol tied the game once again and sent the action to the top of the 10th with the score tied at seven.

A scoreless 10th inning sent the game to the eleventh, where the wheels fell off for the Bears.

With Epperson aboard thanks to the tiebreak rule, Bolton reached safely on a leadoff error. Kelsey Lowery loaded the bases with a single and with a walk to Erristen Evans, the Panthers took a one-run lead.

An error off the bat of Jessica Paschal scored Bolton and another Billingsley error allowed Evans to score.

An RBI double by Corbin scored Paschal and the Panthers took a 12-7 lead.

Trinity Price started the bottom half of the eleventh by reaching base on a Panthers error, but a groundball out, a strikeout and a tag out at the plate brought the game to a close and gave the Panthers the win.

Corbin had a 2-for-5 performance with a double, home run and three RBIs to lead Jemison at the plate, while Bolton got the start on the mound and threw seven innings with three earned runs, three walks and six strikeouts.

Tindol led the Bears at the plate with a 4-for-5 performance with a single, three doubles and three RBIs, while Headley threw six innings with one earned run, four walks and five strikeouts.