Jessica Karenke wasn't about to stop waving her right hand around and around in the 10th inning of Friday's game against Kilgore.
Navarro finally got the breakthrough hit it needed, as Jess Marshburn slapped a single into left field. Tealy Faraquhar came steaming around third base and Karenke risked it, sending her home. It worked out, as Farquhar slid in head first for a 2-1 extra-inning victory over Kilgore in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader.
It turned out to be the right decision by Karenke as Farquhar was able to get her left hand in under the tag of Kilgore catcher Heather Dunn. In a tie game with one of Navarro's best hitters up, and another game to play, it was the perfect time to take a gamble.
"Jess is a tough competitor in the batter's box," Karenke said. "It doesn't matter the count. And I wasn't about to stop Tealy. That was a big hit and a big win."
Navarro (19-13) improved to 5-2 in conference play pending Friday's second game of the doubleheader. Kilgore (15-24) dropped to 3-2 in conference.
The Lady Bulldogs rallied from a 1-0 deficit to force extra innings. They tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Marshburn had a two-out double to right-center field to give Navarro new life.
Navarro's defense -- and good work by relief pitcher Camrie Helm --kept the Lady Bulldogs in position for Marshburn's late-game heroics. Helm retired 12 straight batters from the sixth to the ninth innings, getting six ground-ball outs.
"Our pitchers worked out of jams and we played great defense," Karenke said. "Our defense was superb."
Helm worked around an error in the top of the 10th, setting up the game-winning rally.
Farqurar reached on an error to start the bottom of the 10th and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Kilgore pitcher Jessica Simon notched a strikeout for the second out, Marshburn worked a 1-2 count before lining a fastball between shortstop and third base.
The rest came down to the waving arm of Karenke and the hustle of Farquhar.
Kilgore 1 (10 innings)
Kilgore 100 000 000 0 -- 1 6 1
Navarro 000 010 000 1 -- 2 4 1
WP -- Camrie Helm
LP -- Jessica Simon
Top hitters -- Kilgore: Laura Martinez 3-5 (2B, run), Tricia Hock 2-4 (2B), Heather Dunn 1-5 (RBI); Navarro: Jess Marshburn 2-4 (2B, 2 RBIs, run), Jade Havard 1-4 (2B), Daniele Nash 1-3.
Records -- Kilgore 15-24, 3-2; Navarro 19-13, 5-2.