(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs have had two consecutive one-run games to open their 2008 season. One was a loss on Monday and the other, a dramatic walk-off win against the Perryville Lady Pirates, 7-6, on Tuesday afternoon.
It all started when Sikeston took a 4-2 lead into the seventh and final inning. Perryville took advantage of four Lady Bulldog errors in the top of the seventh to have four runs cross the plate. Sikeston now found themselves at the bottom looking up.
After Sikeston's starting pitcher, Sarah Hopson, stifled Perryville with a one-two-three inning, the Lady Bulldogs had a golden opportunity to score the winning run after Perryville head coach Jeff Steffens elected to intentionally walk not one, but two batters to load the bases with only one out. Mary Deason represented the winning run on third base when Kelsie Cooper hit a screaming line-drive right to the Lady Pirates third baseman, Emily Hanquist, who then reached third base before Deason could return completing the unassisted double play that ended the Lady Bulldog threat.
"That's one of those lucky draws," Sikeston head coach Tiffany King said about the double play. "A hit in the right place and at the right time. That was one of those reaction things. Nobody can get back on a line drive that's hit that fast."
Perryville came right back with an offensive stand of their own in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded and one out.
Hopson, who received the win and went all 10 innings allowing 10 hits, struck out the next batter and then induced a ground ball from the next to end the Lady Pirate rally.
"That's being mentally tough," said King about her pitcher. "She has gone back-to-back days and you just have to stay strong. That's what I've been preaching to my three pitchers this year is to be mentally tough. And she (Hopson) showed it today."
After many momentum swings throughout the extra innings, the Lady Bulldogs finally broke through the scoring drought with an RBI double down the left field line off the bat of Sydney Davied that scored Deason for the winning run.
"Of course, everybody is going to be happy with the win," King said. "The girls stayed up and pushed through. At times, our defense played perfect and that's what we need. The girls are turning around and heading in the right direction."
Sikeston (1-1) was lead by Henson who finished the game with three hits and three RBIs.
Manch was also very effective for the Lady Pirates. She did not allow a hit until the sixth inning.
Sikeston's will play host again in their next game against Poplar Bluff on Friday at 4 p.m.