Florala rallies for area softball win at Pleasant Home

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2024

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Florala overcame a seven-run deficit in the fifth inning and held on for a 22-21 area win at Pleasant Home in a varsity softball game that lasted nearly four hours on Monday, March 11.

The Lady Wildcats improved to 2-3 overall and 2-1 in 1A Area 2, while the Lady Eagles fell to 0-3 and 0-1.

Florala struck first in the opening inning when Julia Leonard reached on a two-out error that scored Ella Caraway and Aubree Powell. Skyler Murdock drove home Leonard with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead. Pleasant Home responded with nine runs in the bottom of the first. Hailey Ward took second on a defensive miscue before Ivy Youngblood walked. Kayden Weaver followed with a two-run double into right and plated Ward and Youngblood. Jaiden Paul tied the game with an RBI single before Ashlynn Heck doubled home Paul for a 4-3 lead. Jenna Kate Clark pushed the margin to 6-3 with a two-run double, and Weaver capped the frame with a two-run single for a 9-3 lead after one.

Jayla Davis and Elizabeth Sanders scored on a single by Payton Murray in the visiting second. Jailee Jones brought home Murray on a bunt as the Lady Wildcats closed the gap to three. Caroline Sansom earned a leadoff walk for the Lady Eagles, but Isabella Brooks retired the next three batters and kept the score 9-6 after two.

Caraway walked with the bases loaded in the third as Riley Cato crossed home. Ward started the home half with a single and scored on a passed ball for a 10-7 lead at the end of three.

Florala loaded the bases again in the fourth, but Paul escaped unscathed. Ward, Youngblood, and Weaver earned RBI doubles in the bottom of the frame and gave Pleasant Home a 14-7 lead after four.

The Lady Wildcats edged closer with a bases-loaded hit by pitch in their half of the fifth. Murdock followed with a groundout and scored Powell. Caraway worked around a two-out walk, but the Lady Eagles held a 14-9 lead with five innings complete.

Jones scored on a wild pitch in the visiting sixth before Caraway and Powell came home on an RBI double from Annabelle Bookout. Murdock drove in Leonard with a single, and Bookout scored the tying run on a steal. Murdock found the plate on a walk, and Davis scored on a wild pitch that gave Florala a 16-14 lead. Weaver knocked an RBI single and brought Youngblood to the plate for a 16-16 tie. Weaver then hustled home on a wild pitch as Pleasant Home took a 17-16 lead after six.

The Lady Wildcats had a six-run top of the seventh and built a 22-17 lead. The Lady Eagles did not go quietly as Weaver doubled home Ward and trimmed the hole to 22-21. Weaver moved to third on an error before Caraway induced a game-ending groundout.

Murray went 3-for-6 at the plate with a run scored and three RBIs for Florala. Murdock was 2-for-3 with two runs and four RBIs. Caraway earned the win with 4 1/3 innings in relief.

Weaver finished 5-for-5 with two runs scored and seven RBIs for Pleasant Home. Ward added a 3-for-6 showing with six runs and an RBI. Paul threw the final five innings in relief.

Both teams play again on Thursday, March 14, when Pleasant Home hosts Elba, and Florala welcomes Samson.