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September 19, 2013

Lady Tigers Falter One-Out From Tourney Title

Scotland County was one out away from claiming the North Shelby Tournament title but the crown slipped away in the final inning as Mark Twain capitalized on a pair of SCR-I errors to score four runs in its final at bat to secure a 5-3 win.

Mark Twain jumped on top 1-0 in the second inning courtesy of a bloop single and a wild pitch.

Early on it looked like Kenzie Grossman might make that lead hold up. She stifled the SCR-I bats through four perfect innings, generating flashbacks of last year's title contest where she threw a perfect game.

But SCR-I finally got to the senior hurler in the fifth inning.

Brieanna Priebe led off with a single. Olivia Harris and Maddie Brassfield reached on errors to load the bases. Mark Twain's third consecutive error allowed the first run to cross the plate as Hailey Dial reached base. The Lady Tigers lost some of their thunder on the next play as Claire Shannan attempted to push a run across with a bunt. Despite the ball apparently striking the bat twice, it was ruled a fair ball. Mark Twain forced the runner at the plate and threw out Shannan at first base for a controversial double play.

Brassfield returned the momentum to SCR-I when she scored on a passed ball to put Scotland County ahead 2-1.

SCR-I tacked on another tally in the bottom of the sixth inning after a leadoff walk to Miranda Holland. She moved into scoring position on a single by Bethany Rader and came into score on an RBI ground out by Priebe.

Rader held Mark Twain at bay after the second inning. She worked out of a jam in the fifth and then stranded a runner at third in the sixth to preserve the 3-1 lead.

But it all came tumbling down in the top of the seventh. A one out single was followed by the first SCR-I error to put runners at first and second. Randi Slaughter snagged a line drive to shortstop to put the Lady Tigers one out away from victory. But Mark Twain kept the inning alive with another single and the second error of the frame before Grossman crushed a bases clearing double that put Mark Twain ahead for good 5-3.

Rader took the pitching loss, allowing five runs, one earned, on nine hits. She walked none and struck out five.

Grossman held SCR-I to just two hits and one walk, while striking out eight.

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