By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The Model Laboratory Lady Patriots (4-5) pulled out a dramatic 4-3 extra-inning victory over Berea Community Monday in Richmond.
Freshman Taylor Bray, who picked up a one-out single, raced home with the winning run from second base in the seventh inning on a single by Anastasia Henderson that got past the Berea right fielder.
Though it wasn’t always pretty — the two teams combined for 14 errors, and each had runners thrown out at the plate — it was exciting all the way as both teams also made some great defensive plays in the contest as well.
“It was a dogfight all day,” Model coach Bobby Huff said. “It was a fun game, both teams competed hard. Both teams made mistakes, but both teams came up with some big plays when they needed them too.”
The game started out as a pitcher’s duel between Berea’s Jenny Ingram and Model’s Kayla Huff, which each held their opponents scoreless and allowed only one hit through the first two innings.
Berea finally got on the board in the top of the third. Nakea Banther shot a two-out single into right field and went to second on an error in the outfield on the play.
One pitch later, she stole third and then scampered home when the throw from Model catcher Lindsey Noland got by third baseman Bray.
Model quickly answered in its half of the inning, sending eight batters to the plate against Ingram, plating two runs on a pair of hits and three Berea errors.
Abby Vicars reached on an error to start the inning. Back-to-back singles by Grace Weitkamp and Hayley Hunt loaded the bases.
Noland brought Weitkamp home with a ground ball to shortstop to tie it.
Two batters later, another fielding mistake on a ground ball by Bray allowed Hunt to score to put the Lady Patriots up 2-1.
The Lady Pirates regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning thanks in part to six Model errors in the inning.
Katherine McManus and Allie Maynard opened the inning with singles. Jordan Sandefur then laid down a perfect bunt between the plate and the pitching circle. She reached safely when Weitkamp’s throw was wide at first base, allowing a run to score and tie the game at 2-2.
The next batter, Banther also put down a but, but Maynard was gunned down at the plate by Weitkamp.
Banther went to second and Sandefur went to third on the throw to the plate. Sandefur scored when Noland’s throw to second base got by Hunt at shortstop to put Berea back on top 3-2,
The Berea rally was cut short when the next batter, Ingram, hit a rocket shot right at right fielder Kylee Miller, who snared the liner and then fired a strike to first base to double up a pinch runner to end the inning.
Model once again tied it at 3-3 in the fifth inning on a lead-off walk by Noland and consecutive singles by Bray, Henderson and Miller.
Model had a chance to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, but a heads-up play by Banther ended the threat.
Abbie Vicars led-off the inning with a walk and Weitkamp reached on a single. Hunt then hit a line drive into right-center field that Banther picked off, then fired a bullet to first base to double up Weitkamp.
Ingram then struck out Noland to end the inning.
Berea had one last chance to re-take the lead, but as was the case against LCA last weekend in the All “A”, a baserunning mistake erased the opportunity.
Maynard reached second on a Model error to open the inning. She was gunned down by Noland trying to steal third on a strike out by Sandefur.
Banther then singled, which would have brought in the go-ahead run, but Weitkamp struck out Miranda Montgomery to end the inning and set up the winning rally in the bottom of the inning.
“We made a couple of errors that hurt us, but we played really well. I’m happy with them,” Berea coach Rick Ingram said. “They are getting better every game. It’s like a win to me. These kind of games are hard to lose, but you can’t be mad when you do lose because they left it all out on the field.”
Weitkamp picked up the win for Model in relief. She pitched four innings, allowing only three hits. She struck out four batters and didn’t walk any.
Huff started and threw three innings for the Lady Patriots. She allowed one run on four hits. She hit two batters, walked two and struck out three batters.
Ingram went the distance for the Lady Pirates, allowing four runs on seven hits. She walked four and hit one batter.
Henderson led the way for the Lady Patriots’ offense with three singles and an RBI. Weitkamp and Bray had two singles each in the game, while Miller had a single and RBI and Hunt and Noland had a single each.
For Berea, Maynard had a pair of singles and an RBI, Banther had two singles and two stolen bases and Ingram and McManus each picked up singles.
Berea returns to action today at Lee County.
Model takes on Jackson County today at 5:30 p.m.