DUNCANVILLE - For the second time this week the Midlothian Lady Panthers (27-11) and the Forney Lady Jackrabbits (32-8) battled in extra innings for a 1-0 decision. This time Midlothian took the win to even the Class 4A Region II semi-final best-of-three series at one all.
Just like the first game that Forney won in nine innings Tuesday, it took Midlothian eight innings to pull off the victory. Junior Lindsay Fallen was superb on the mound giving up just three hits and walking two and striking out three for the win. Britney Benedict took the loss for Forney allowing six hits, two walks and two hit batters plus four strikeouts.
Defense was the name of the game again on Friday as Midlothian’s Chelsea Peel made a diving catch in right field to rob Sarah Bell of a hit in the second inning.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Midlothian’s second baseman Melissa Lloyd made a great over the shoulder catch in shallow right field.
Both catchers got into the act as well. Midlothian’s Brittany Caruthers gunned down a base runner trying to steal second base as did Forney’s Erica Laflore. Laflore also picked off a runner at first.
Midlothian threatened in the top of the first when leadoff Tori Benavidez singled to left and moved to third courtesy of a pair of fielder’s choice plays. But she was stranded at third when Jessica Moore popped up to the pitcher.
Forney’s LeFlore led off with a single to right field and moved to third via a sacrifice bunt and a single from Casie Campanello. Campanello was caught stealing for the second out and Shelby Brogden flew out to end the inning.
Neither team allowed a base runner in the second, with the big play coming with Peel’s diving catch in right field.
Alyce Trevino rapped a one out single for Midlothian in the third but was not able to advance.
Fallen struck out Benedict and Ashley McCarroll to start the bottom of the inning. LaFlore popped up to first to end the Lady Rabbit at bat.
After Midlothian went down in order in the top of the fourth, Forney had a lead off single by Mallory Mitchell. Campanello put down the bunt, but Midlothian’s Keri Richard fielded the ball and threw out the lead runner at second. Lloyd then made her fantastic over the shoulder catch for the second out. The inning ended with a ground ball out to short.
Lindy Latham worked Benedict for a one out walk in the top of the fifth. She moved to second on Peel’s perfect sacrifice bunt. Latham moved to third on a wild pitch. Lloyd drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Lloyd then stole second but neither runner was able to score.
Forney went down in order to end the fifth inning with the score deadlocked at 0-0.
Benavidez slapped a single into center field to start the sixth. Moore was struck by a pitch with two out to put runners on the corners.
Richard pulled a shot down third base line but the ball was fielded for the third out to end Panther at bat.
A throwing error allowed McCarroll to reach first for Forney. A pair of routine fly ball outs and a strikeout stranded the runner at first.
Latham was hit by a pitch to start the seventh inning. However, the Lady Panthers were unable to advance her to scoring position to bring the Lady Rabbits to the plate.
A walk to Shelby Brogden put the Forney fans on the edge of their seats. But a bunt down the third base line ended up with a force out at second. Then a ground ball out to short was followed by a line drive out at short to send the game into extra innings.
With one out Benavidez blasted a shot to the right field wall and by the time Forney could get the ball back into the infield the fleet center field was camped on third with a standup triple.
With the Forney infield drawn in, Megan Curry slapped the ball up the middle for a single and the game’s only RBI.
In the bottom of the eighth, Benedict drew a walk but three fly ball outs ended the game.
Game three was scheduled for noon on Saturday. Game details will be in the in the Monday edition of the Daily Light.
Midlothian 1, Forney 0 (8)
Midlothian 000 000 01 — 1 6 1
Forney 000 000 00 — 0 3 0
WP — Lindsey Fallen. LP — Britney Benedict. 3B — M: Tori Benavidez.
Records — Midlothian 27-11; Forney 32-8.