MAN — It was a thrilling win for the Man High School softball team which won 2-1 in eight innings over Class AAA county rival Logan on Friday night at the Man softball field.
Man’s Kelly Grimmett got the game winner — a two-out RBI single off Logan pitcher Chastidy Wiley — scoring Rachael Griffith in the bottom of the eighth.
The Lady Billies, ranked No. 7 in the state in Class A, improved to 17-5 on the season and earned a season series split with Logan.
The Lady Cats, decimated due to injuries and illnesses to their pitching staff, dropped to 9-15 and lost their sixth straight game. Logan was beaten 11-1 at home by Sherman on Thursday in its Senior Night game. LHS is 4-10 in its last 14 games.
Man senior Taylor Tomblin picked up the win on the mound in Friday’s contest.
It was a very exciting low scoring affair as both teams had their chances to win the game. Each team’s defense, though, stepped up and made big plays in the field to keep the game tight.
The first run of the game came in the bottom of the first inning with one out.
Lady Billies’ senior Summer Sword singled, stole second and third and then came home on the over throw attempt to get her out at third base to make it 1-0.
After that, Man loaded to bases in the same inning as Emilee Osborne drew a walk, Tomblin singled and Micayla Gibson walked.
Wiley was able to get out of the jam as freshman Emily Toler, playing for the injured Cari Blair, grounded out to end the rally.
Both teams went out quietly in the second inning.
Man threatened in the bottom of the third stanza as Tomblin and Osborne both got two out singles but were stranded as Wiley struck out Gibson.
The Lady Billies had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the fourth inning but a base running mistake killed the threat.
Toler reached base on an error and took second after Casey Albright’s sacrifice bunt. Elizabeth Dickerson then hit a solid single up the middle but Albright was tagged out in a rundown at third base. Grimmett then grounded out to end the inning.
Logan made some noise in the fifth as Hannah Kolovich was safe on an error and went to second on Kiana Hill’s sacrifice bunt. Ashton Spry later was safe on an error putting runners at the corners but Tomblinh got Shelby Hale to fly out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Man put two more ducks on the pond as Madison Keffer and Tomblin had two-out hits. Gibson then rapped a long fly ball deep to center by Logan’s Summer Collins was able to reel it in for the third out.
Logan scored its only run of the game in the top of the sixth to tie it up 1-1. The Lady Cats did it with two outs after three straight hits by Hana Sedlock, Antonia Hill and the RBI single by Kolovich.
Both teams threatened in the seventh.
Logan’s Taylor Napier just missed a leadoff home run as the ball hit the top of the fence in left and bounced back for a standup double. Spry then grounded out to send Napier to third. Hale reached base with an infield single to put runners at the corners. Tomblin then got out of the fix with a pop out and a flyout.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, Man had its chances to win the game.
Sword got it started with a one-out bunt single.
Osborne was then safe on a fielder’s choice to put two runners on.
Keffer then hit the ball to the mound but Sword slid in safely at third base as she got under the tag to load up the bases.
Wiley then got Tomblin out on line drive to second and Gibson grounded out to end the frame as the game went to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Sedlock put the Lady Cats in business with a leadoff double. Antonia Hill then reached base safely on a Man error to put two on with no outs.
After a Kolovich strikeout, Kiana Hill laid down a bunt put the Lady Billies were able to get pinch-runner Aarron Ward out at the plate for the second out.
Napier then flew out to right to end the threat.
Man then won the game in the bottom of the eighth.
Albright led off with a walk and was replaced on the base paths by Griffith.
Dickerson moved Griffith over to second with a bunt. Griffith then took third on a wild pitch and scored on Grimmett’s game-winning hit on a single up the middle.
Tomblin led the Lady Billies’ offensive attack with three hits. Sword had two hits. Osborne, Dickerson, Keffer and Grimmett had one hit each.
For Logan, Sedlock had double and a single while Napier doubled. Collins, Antonia Hill Kolovich added singles,
Tomblin was the winning pitcher as she struck out four and walked one while allowing six hits and one run.
Wiley fanned one on the mound and allowed two runs and nine hits with four walks.
Logan was scheduled to return to action with Saturday’s home doubleheader against Pikeview. The Lady Cats go to South Charleston on Monday before battling Nitro and St. Albans in this week’s Class AAA sectional tourney.
Friday night’s game closed out the regular season for the Lady Billies.
Man is slated to host Tug Valley (0-10) on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of a three-game Class A sectional series against the Lady Panthers. Game 2 is set for Wednesday evening.
The Lady Billies blanked Tug Valley 11-0 and 17-0 in two meetings this season.
Man is expected to meet Sherman in the upcoming regional championship game for the right to play in the state tournament. The Lady Billies are 1-3 this season against the Tide. Two of those losses were by just one run.