(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
BENTON -- Rallying with two outs in the bottom of the eighth for the game-winning run, the Kelly Lady Hawks made their sixth inning woes seem like a thing of the past.
Taking on the visiting Cobden, Ill. Appleknockers Monday afternoon, the Lady Hawks entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 3-2 after allowing three runs in the top of the previous inning.
After Kelly tied it up to force extra innings, Emily Grojean brought home Michaela Gean from third in the eighth with a two-out, base hit bunt to short to give the Lady Hawks the 4-3 win.
"I gave her the squeeze sign," Lady Hawk's coach Melanie Heuring said. "But luckily she was trying to place it and she did perfectly, right over the shortstop. We we're lucky the shortstop was running in and it worked out well."
Kelly's late inning heroics erased what looked to be a game changing error in the above mentioned sixth, when, after holding Cobden scoreless for five frames, an error by the Lady Hawks left fielder brought home two Appleknocker runs.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Cobden's Krysti Davis hit a base hit to left that, if fielded cleanly would have left the bases loaded.
Unable to cleanly handle the ball, however, Kelly's left fielder would see the ball bounce back to the fence, scoring two runs before the Lady Hawks could recover.
A hit to center by Devyn Inman scored the go-ahead run before a line drive to the short stop by Hannah Spalt would end the Appleknockers rally.
Coming away empty handed in the bottom of the frame, the Lady Hawks were able to answer in the seventh when Grojean led off the inning with a walk before coming home from third on a bunt by Jade Rampley.
That run set up Kelly's eighth inning heroics when Jessica Worth and Darbe Backfisch both reached base with two outs to leave runners on first and third for Grojean's game-winning bunt.
"(Their infield) were running in, so I just figured I'm going to try and pop it over (their heads), maybe it will work and it did," Grojean said. "I was really, really happy it worked."
Pitching all eight innings for the Lady Hawks, Kristen Powell picks up the win. She allowed three runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out seven.
"We did really well (today)," Powell said. "We had a few errors here and there, but we overcame them and pulled it out."
At the plate, Kelly collected eight hits on the contest with Grojean and Rampley leading the team as each went 2-for-3 against the Appleknockers.
Next up, Kelly (8-2) will face the visiting Twin River Lady Royals today at 4 p.m.
Cobden 000 003 00 - 3
Kelly 101 000 11 - 4
WP -- Kristen Powell. LP -- Taylor Wilkins. Multiple hitters -- (C) Emily Murray 3-4, Devyn Inman; (K) Emily Grojean 2-3, Jade Rampley.