Luman’s RBI gives Lady Bulldogs first district win

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Lady Bulldog Reiny Luman blasted a double deep to left center to knock in the winning run in as Quitman defeated Alba-Golden 5-4 on April 2. The walk-off win put a cap on a fine softball game between two evenly matched team and gave Quitman its first district win of the season.

The dramatic win began as a pitchers’ duel between Quitman’s Alexis O’Neal and Alba-Golden’s Bralee Littlejohn. O’Neal set down the first six Lady Panthers in order while Littlejohn put runners on base in the first two innings, but worked her way out of trouble in each case.

The Lady Panthers opened the scoring in the third when Grace Bizzell reached on a Texas Leaguer. She advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on an Ashlyn Rogers’ double to deep left field.

Quitman answered in the bottom of the inning. Lady Bulldog centerfielder Madalyn Spears sent a rocket shot over the left-center field fence for a spectacular home run.

Each team began generating offense. In the fourth, Alba-Golden put up two runs. Kalli Wright’s two out single up the middle highlighted the rally. Quitman answered with a single run. Tyann Harris lined a base hit to right field to lead off the bottom of the inning. She stole second and scored on a throwing error by the Lady Panthers.

Quitman added a run in the fifth. Spears led off with a single and stole second. She scored on a Shelby Hayes’ single through the left side. Quitman stranded two runners.

The score was tied, 3-3, going into the sixth. Littlejohn sent a single through the left side to start the sixth. She scored two batters later when Laynie Culp slashed a double into left field.

Despite putting three on in the bottom half, Quitman did not score in the sixth. Two baserunners were forced at second base. After reaching base with a single, Madelynn Whitehurst was forced on a standard ground ball, and O’Neal was later forced when caught between bases on a ball that was looped into short right field.

As the shadows began to lengthen, it looked as though the Lady Panthers might escape with a narrow win. Alba-Golden put two runners on in the top of the seventh, but were unable to score and went to the field in the bottom half with a one run lead.

Kendal Wiley stroked a hard-hit ball into deep centerfield to lead off. A misplayed fly ball which caused confusion between Alba-Golden leftfielder Lizzie Hallman and centerfielder Rogers scored the runner, and the game was tied. Harris next put a ball through the left side of the infield and the Lady Bulldogs had two on, with one out.

Luman stepped to the plate. She smacked a ball to deep left-center which hit the wall on the first bounce. The winning RBI came in, and the home team rushed to congratulate Luman as Quitman prevailed 5-4.

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