DUNCANVILLE - In an intense defensive struggle it took nine innings for the Forney Lady Jackrabbits (32-7) to take a 1-0 win over the Midlothian Lady Panthers (26-11).
Senior Britney Benedict took the win on the mound for Forney by keeping Midlothian off balance at the plate. Benedict scattered five hits over the nine innings while striking out nine and walking four.
Midlothian junior Lindsay Fallen took the loss. She also pitched the complete game giving up nine hits and striking out six. She walked four, one intentionally.
It appeared that Midlothian had taken a lead in the bottom of the third inning when Britney Caruthers stroked a single into center field to score Tori Benavidez from second base. But, the base umpire ruled that Benavidez had interfered with Forney shortstop Kallan
Thompson on the play. The two briefly collided in the base path while the ground ball was scooting toward center field.
The third base umpire held up his left hand indicating a one base advance for the offense, but a lengthy conference ruled that the runner was out to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Forney threatened to take the lead when Mallory Mitchell singled to start the inning. Casie Campanello then hit a ground ball to Jessica Moore at short.
Moore quickly stepped on second to force Mitchell and fired the ball to first for a bang-bang double play. However, the first base umpire ruled Campanello safe to leave one on and one out.
Forney cleanup hitter Shelby Brogden drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Sarah Bell hit a clean single to center field that Benavidez fielded on one hop and came up firing to third to get the force out on Campanello. The play turned a base hit into a fielder’s choice for Bell. With two out Brianne Elkins single to center field. Benavidez again came up throwing to nail Brogden at the plate to end the inning.
In the decisive ninth inning, Thompson singled for Forney to lead things off. Benedict drew a four-pitch walk and Ashley McCarroll put down the sacrifice bunt to move runners over.
Midlothian decided to walk Erica Leflore to load the bases and set up the force at home.
However, Campanello lifted a fly to left, deep enough to score Thompson with the games only run.
Benedict sat the Lady Panthers down in order in the bottom of the inning to secure the 1-0 win. The teams will face off again Friday night in Duncanville. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
Forney 1, Midlothian 0 (9)
Forney 000 000 001 — 1 9 1
Midlothian 000 000 000 — 0 5 0
WP — Britney Benedict. LP — Lindsey Fallen.
Records — Forney 32-7; Midlothian 26-11.