VERSAILLES – The Versailles Lady Tigers battle back to get a 7-6 walk-off win over the visiting Northmont Lady Aviators. With the game tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh, Lauren Monnin coaxed a 2-out walk on a full 3-2 pitch for the dramatic victory.
“Team win all the way around,” said Versailles coach Chris Floyd. “We didn’t get two players in that we’re going to depend on coming off the bench this year. If we would have got that lead a little bit earlier I could have put a few more sticks in the lineup.”
The Lady Bolts dented the plate with two run in the top of the first, added single runs in the second and third innings to lead 4-0 with the Lady Tigers coming to the plate in the bottom of the third inning.
Versailles took advantage of a third inning unearned run to plate their first run of the night and used a Caitlin McEldowney RBI double to center to plate the Lady Tigers second run of the inning. Faith Huddle followed with a RBI single to center scoring Makenzie Knore to send the teams to the fourth inning of play with Versailles trailing 4-3.
Abby Stammen legged out an infield single to open play in the bottom of the Versailles’ fourth and scored on an Hannah Barga homerun over the left field fence giving the Lady Tigers a 5-4 lead, their first of the night.
“That was huge,” Floyd said of Barga’s homerun. “She has that kind of pop in her bat and she can fly too. “That was good to see. Once you get the first one the next one comes easier.”
Northmont answered with a Caskey 2-run homer to center in the top of the fifth to take a 6-5 lead over Versailles.
The local girls would not cross the plate in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings while the Lady Bolts were going quietly in the top of the sixth and seventh innings bringing the Lady Tigers to the plate in the bottom of the seventh trailing by a run.
Knore opened with a bunt single down the third baseline followed by a McEldowney sacrifice bunt with Knore moving to second and one down.
The speedy Knore quickly stole third and scored on a RBI single to right off the bat of Huddle tying the score at 6-6.
Rachel Lyons reached by way of an error putting runners on first and second bringing a pitching change for the Lady Thunderbolts.
“She threw pretty hard – we watched her warm up,” Coach Floyd said of the new Northmont pitcher. “I made the whole team watch her warm up, and during that warmup she was two for eight on strikes. When you’re coming off the bench cold, that kind of helped us take that first pitch and get ahead in the count.”
A Lady Tigers strikeout had Versailles down to its last out and last strike with Stammen at the plate looking at a 2-2 pitch count. Back-to-back walks had Stammen taking a free pass and bringing Monnin to the plate.
With Monnin in the box and a 0-1 count with a strike looking, a ball made it 1-1 followed by a foul ball putting Monnin in a hole with a 1-ball 2-strike count. With the disciplined Monnin dug in at the plate, three consecutive balls gave the Lady Tigers a walk-off win with Huddle scoring the winning run.
“We have some disciplined batters, they’re young,” Floyd said. “We’re still trying to find ourselves at the plate. Sometimes we are swinging at the pitches we should be taking and taking the pitches we should be hitting – but we had discipline at the plate and we executed.”
Tara Fritscher started the game for Versailles surrendering six runs on eight hits over 4.2 innings.
“That was Tara’s first start,” noted Floyd. “She had an injury to her ankle before the season so we really didn’t get a lot of time with her in the preseason practices and see her throw. It was a gutty performance but one bad pitch and miss your spot – Northmont is a good team.”
Monnin was credited with the victory for the Lady Tigers tossing 2.2 innings, allowing two hits and no runs while striking out two and walking one.
Huddle went 2-3 with 2-RBIs and a run scored. Barga was 2-4 with 2-RBI’s and a run. McEldowney went 1-3 and a RBI. Knore was 1-3 with 2-runs scored. Stammen went 1-3 with a walk and a run. Monnin had a walk and a run scored and Fritscher scored a run for the Lady Tigers.
PHOTO CAPTION: Hannah Barga is greeted at home following her 2-run homer to give the Versailles Lady Tigers their first lead of the night over the visiting Northmont Lady Bolts. (Gaylen Blosser photo)