Lady Mohawks Win Thriller over Manila
The Lady Mohawks punched their ticket to the regional softball tournament at Harrison last week, beating the Manila Lady Lions in dramatic fashion in the first round of the district tournament at Piggott. Monday afternoon the Tribe took on the top-seeded Rivercrest Lady Colts in the semi-finals, and fell by a score of 9-1.
For the second year in a row the Lady Mohawks faced the Lions in an elimination game, and for the second straight year the Tribe came out on top. As it was in 2012, the young Piggott squad gave up an early lead in their contest and had to battle back to get the win.
With ace freshman Devyn Staples on the mound, the Tribe got off to a shaky start in their first round game with Manila on Thursday afternoon. The Lady Lions struck early, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning by the first three batters of the game.
But, Staples then settled in and shut down the Manila bats, allowing just a single by Kristin Wise in working to the final 16 batters. One other Lion base runner also reached on an error.
Meanwhile, the Mohawks notched their first run in the second inning as Melinda Blackmon walked and came around to score. In the third inning Kacey Crossfield singled, and later came around to score to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
That score stood until the final frame, when the Mohawks made their last second rally.
Still trailing 3-2, senior Mallory Wright led off the seventh inning and popped-up to the infield. Taylor Davis came up next, and also hit a short pop-up fly for the second out of the frame.
With the game, and the chance for post-season play, on the line it was up to Crossfield. She stood in with two outs, and facing a count of 0-2, took four straight balls and drew the walk. Another young Mohawk, MaKalia Beck then stepped in and had a quality at bat--getting hit by a pitch while Crossfield advanced on a stolen base and wild pitch and came in to score the tying run.
With Shelby Morgan at the plate, Beck made her way around the bases on a steal and another wild pitch. Moments later she scored on a wild pitch on ball four to Morgan, and was able to beat the throw to the plate to score the winning run.
Earlier that day Hoxie eliminated Osceola by a final of 17-2, setting up the Lady Mustangs second round game with Corning as the Thursday nightcap. In that contest the Lady Bobcats prevailed by a final of 15-5.
Due to bad weather, the semi-finals and finals were re-scheduled from Friday and Saturday to Monday afternoon at Independence Park.
In the early game the Tribe fell to Rivercrest, and in the other semi-final Harrisburg got by Corning by a final of 6-5. In the nightcap the Lady Colts kept their record against conference foes spotless with a 19-4 win over the Lady Bobcats in five innings.
"We waited to the last second, but got it done against Manila," Coach Nikki Speer said of her young Mohawk squad. "We come out of here as the fourth seed from our district, but on any given day we're just as good as the two and three seeds."
As the fourth place finisher in 3A-3 the Lady Mohawks are scheduled to play at noon Friday, May 3 against the winner of the 3A-1 East. The games are being played on the Harrison Parks and Recreation Department fields and are hosted by Bergman High School. With a win the Tribe will play again at noon Saturday, May 4--and more importantly, earn themselves a berth in the 3A state softball tournament set for May 9 to 11 at White Hall High School. The state 3A championship game will be played at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 17 in Bogel Park on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.