Harlem High School’s softball game with Evans Wednesday night started just under two hours late because of a rain/lightning delay,
It was well worth the wait.
The Lady Bulldogs forged an early lead, the Lady Knights took a late lead in dramatic fashion and then the Lady Bulldogs made a comeback of their own to win 7-4.
The Lady Knights (3-2) trailed 3-0 heading into the sixth inning.
After cutting the deficit to 3-1, sophomore third baseman Brooke Hayes drilled a Lillie Streets pitch over the centerfield fence for a two-out, 3-run homer that quickly gave the Lady Knights a 4-3 lead.
“I tried to stay calm, I knew we could come back,” said the sophomore Streets, who struck out the next batter for the final out.
Streets (8-0) helped the Bulldogs (8-0) stay perfect allowing the four runs on four hits while tying a career-high with five strikeouts.
Lady Bulldogs’ coach Mke Leverett was impressed with his young hurler who has been tough on the mound while junior Amber Garrett is working her way back from a high ankle sprain.
“Lillie, she’s a 10th grader, she didn’t pitch a whole lot last year but this year she’s kept her composure,” Leverett said. “She acts like she’s been pitching two or three years on the mound. Coming in against Evans I knew she would have some pressure on her, but she didn’t throw like it.”
Lady Knight Samantha Davis, who relieved starter Brooke Buck in the fifth inning, walked Cassie Blizzard and Bailey Sheppard to start the bottom of the sixth. After twice failing to get a bunt down, senior Morgan Hobbins doubled in Blizzard with the tying run.
“After I got the 0-2 count, I was like ‘I’ve got to hit this pitch.’” Hobbins said. “I moved up in the box and just swung with all my power and saw it go in the gap and it was the happiest thing in my life. I got on second and heard everybody cheering and just started crying. It was a great moment.”
Lexi Mays’ infield single scored Sheppard with the go-ahead run and then catcher Courtney Combe plated Hobbins and Mays with a single.
The Lady Bulldogs scored single runs in the second-through-fourth innings as the Lady Knights committed three errors.
“We made too many errors, if anything they were mental,” said Evans’ head coach Colette Cassedy.
“I’m glad we played the game. Harlem has a good program and we want to play good teams to make us better. We still see what we need to work on before region starts.”
Even with the three-run lead, Leverett knew his team would need more than that.
“I told them we’ve got to keep scoring, we’ve got to keep scoring,” Leverett said. “We have never played a game against Evans and it wasn’t a great game.”
Evans 000 004 0 – 4 4 3
Harlem 011 104 X – 7 6 1
Lillie Streets and Courtney Combe; Brooke Buck, Samantha Davis (5) and Samantha Peka. WP-Streets (8-0). LP–Davis.
2B-Bailey Sheppard (H). Morgan Hobbins (H). HR-Brooke Hayes (E). Leading hitters: Evans-Brooke Hayes 1-3 3 RBI; Harlem-Courtney Combe 1-2 2 RBI, Bailey Sheppard 1-1 RBI, Ashley Lunz 2-3.