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Lady Patriots drop extra innings battle

Pike Liberal’s Shelby Broadway and Ashford’s DesaRae Bridges allowed a combined two runs and five hits through seven innings Thursday night in the opening round of the 2009 Jonah McWaters Softball Tournament in Troy.

But both team’s offenses blew up the scoreboard when the game reached extra innings and Ashford pulled out a 6-5 victory in 10 innings.

“Our girls fought hard and did the best they could do and they never quit,” PLAS head coach Mendy Avant said. “I am not disappointed in these girls at all. This team for the first time in about two years has a heart of gold.”

The international tie breaker was in play where a runner is placed at second at the beginning of each half inning in extra innings and the Lady Falcons went up two runs in the eighth inning, but the Lady Patriots (2-3) fought back and tied the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Ashford scored one run in the top of the ninth to grab a 4-3 lead, but PLAS again battled back. The final blow was struck in the top of the 10th when Ashford scored two runs to go up 6-4. The Lady Patriots could manage only one run in the bottom half and the Lady Falcons stayed in the winner’s bracket of the tournament.

“We have leadership on this team and they never backed down and never quit,” Avant said.

Broadway pitched all but the final out of the 10th inning and allowed six runs on eight hits. She struck out eight batters and walked one.

Rebecca Farrar was 2-for-6 at the plate. Broadway scored three runs and Josie Griffin and Jamie Sanders scored one run apiece.

The Lady Patriots face Abbeville today at 2 p.m. in the loser’s bracket and Ashford takes on Edgewood at 6 p.m. tonight.

Click here for a photo gallery of Thursday’s action