This contest between Senior League girls teams turned out to be a collision, but Douglas & Lanier had the coverage it needed to emerge with a narrow win, 15-14, over Crushettz in Midway on Tuesday night.
It came down to the last bat and Rachel Bell produced the winning hit for Douglas & Lanier, blasting a 2 RBI hit to the outfield to win the game as the crowd erupted.
Destiny Wanamaker also connected for a deep shot to the outfield in the decisive bottom of the sixth as D&L rallied from a 14-12 deficit entering its final bat to stun Crushettz in a Midway classic as good as the cheeseburgers.
Crushettz leadoff hitter Kylie Mason led off the game with a shot off the foot of Douglas & Lanier pitcher Clara Brackley, the first of two times Brackley was nicked by comebackers in the game. Brackley showed the heart of a champion, shook off the pain, and continued her duties.
Madelyn Powers hit a grounder to D&L shortstop Destiny Wanamaker, who tagged second base to retire Mason. Then Allena Muncey hit a hard grounder to D&L second baseman Abby Bain, who made a nice snag and touched second base to get Powers out. Finally, Anna Prater hit another hard grounder to shortstop Wanamaker, who threw to Bain at second to get Muncey.
The D&L middle infield of Wanamaker and Bain played out of their minds defensively. Anything that was hit to either of them was scooped up, and the energetic Wanamaker in particular was all over the place making plays.
Douglas & Lanier picked up three runs in the bottom of the first. Rachel Bell smoked a double to center field to score one run, BeBe Brackley had an infield hit that got Wanamaker home, and Bell eventually scored on a groundout.
In the top of the second, Crushettz started mashing. Taylor Caldwell led off with an infield hit, and she reached home when Lexie Thomas got a base hit to center field. Loren Hinshaw added an infield hit, followed by an Izzy Pitts single to right-center field that scored two more runs. Later, Powers got a hit to center field to score Pitts. Then came a three-run, inside-the-park home run to right-center field by Allena Muncey to make the score 7-3.
Powers, pitching for Crushettz, made some great defensive plays in the bottom of the second, including a catch on a ball hit by Bain.
In the top of the third, Crushettz added two runs. Thomas doubled to left-center field, then Hinshaw had a two-RBI hit to left-center. Crushettz had a 9-3 lead and looked to be in control.
In the top of the fourth, Crushettz added two runs thanks to a Prater double and a booted fly ball hit by Caldwell. The frame was a strange one due to an accidental collision at first base between Powers and Bell, a comebacker that struck Brackley again, and a foul tip that hit the D&L catcher’s helmet with great force. Wanamaker mixed in some of her usual defensive flair with a running catch to rob Mason of a hit. Score was 11-7 after some wild action.
In the bottom of the fourth, Crushettz shortstop Prater showed defensive chops of her own, including on a play when she ran to shallow left-center field to catch a would-be hit off the bat of Bain. Thanks to Prater’s prowess, Douglas failed to score in the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, D&L made things interesting with runs. Two came on a BeBe Brackley bases-loaded hit to center field, and one came on a Bain single to left field. Going into the sixth and final inning, the score was 12-11 in favor of D&L.
In the top of the sixth, Crushettz got three runs. Mason walked, Powers singled, and Muncey walked to begin the inning. Prater lined out to left-center to score the tagging Mason, Muncey was brought home on a hit, and Caldwell (who had reached base on a fielder’s choice) scored on a hit by Thomas.
The D&L defense averted further damage. Wanamaker made a great play on a Caldwell shot to get a force out at second base, and BeBe Brackley made two stupendous catches in the outfield: one on the aforementioned rope by Prater and another on a shot by Hinshaw.
Going into the bottom of the sixth, everything was on the line. D&L needed two runs to force extra innings and three runs to win. They ended up getting the latter. After a single and a Clara Brackley walk, Wanamaker hit a shot over the head of the left-center fielder to score one. Then Bell delivered the coup de grâce with a hit to right-center to score Clara Brackley and Wanamaker to win the game.