Lincoln steals win over Lions

April 02, 2004|JILL ERWIN

LANCASTER - Things could have gone so wrong so many times for Lincoln County Thursday. But even through extra innings, the Patriots kept looking for a way to win.

That persistence, and a key stolen base, helped Lincoln defeat Garrard 6-5 in nine innings here.

After its first four batters scored in the first inning, Garrard managed just one hit the rest of the way.

"We didn't have our heads on in the first inning," winning pitcher Jana Crabtree said. "After that, we just got it in our heads that we could do this and we're going to beat them."

"I thought it was a combination of us not hitting the ball and them settling down," Garrard coach Ernie Browning said. "They made some key plays on us. At the end of the game, we hit the ball extremely hard but it was right at people."

Lincoln got its final run in the top of the ninth thanks to a rule for extra innings and a bit of daring on the part of coach Pam Young.


Extra inning rule puts runner on second

The extra inning rule has whoever made the final out in the previous inning start the next inning at second base to facilitate a quicker end to the game. That rule backfired for Lincoln in the eighth when Jenny Jones was thrown out at third on an attempted steal. That didn't lessen Young's intentions of going for the win, however.

"I like running, and that's not a big secret," Young said. "Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't."

In the top of the ninth, No. 9 batter Lindsey Jaggers started on second base and quickly stole third. Leadoff hitter Kendra Garris followed with a single that scored Jaggers with the game-winner.

It capped an unexpected comeback by the Patriots in their season opener. Garrard already had a win under its belt, having topped Berea 11-1 Tuesday.

The Golden Lions looked completely comfortable in the home half of the first inning, as the first eight batters reached base and the first four scored. Brittany Gilbert had a two-run single, and Tiffany Asberry and Candi Brooks each knocked in one with a single.

The rally ended after two baserunning mistakescaused two Lions to be thrown out while heading home. Garrard had five runners thrown out on the bases in the first three innings, plays that came back to haunt the Lions.

"It would have been a difference in the game because we would have won by five runs or whatever," Browning said. "We're going to be aggressive on the basepaths."

Garrard didn't have much chance to be aggressive after the first inning, as the Lions got just one more hit.

Lincoln rallies from 5-0 deficit

Meanwhile, Lincoln rallied from a 5-0 deficit. A run-scoring fielders choice by Sara Fitzpatrick and a two-run single by Crabtree in the fourth got the Pats within 5-3. The score stayed that way until the sixth inning when Lincoln took advantage of two Garrard errors.

With one out and runners on second and third, Crabtree lifted a bloop into short right field that was misplayed for an error allowing a run to score. When Garrard threw to second to try to get Crabtree taking an extra base, Jenny Ralston scored from third. That set the scene for the ninth inning.

Tiffany Meadors took the loss for Garrard, giving up six runs and nine hits. She struck out only five after getting 12 strikeouts against Berea.

Crabtree pitched all nine innings, striking out seven and giving up five runs while walking seven and hitting four more.

"We have confidence and we know in our hearts that we can play ball and we're ready to play any team there is because we have the mental state and the game to do it with," Crabtree said.

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