It didn't end until Mariah Horner squeezed her glove and hauled in the final out of the game in right field on Thursday night in Madisonville, where Horner and the Blooming Grove Lady Lions hung on to beat New Waverly 3-2 in the opening games of a three-game series in the Class 2A bi-district playoffs.
Blooming Grove never trailed and once again ace Falcon Thompson pitched a beauty, but New Waverly scored a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh to make it close, and had the tying run at second when Horner caught the fly ball in right.
Thompson gave up only four hits and struck out seven to go the distance for BG, which will be back in Madisonville at 6:00 on Friday for Game 2 of the best of three series. If a third game is needed it will be played following Game 2.
But for now, BG is in control after taking control of Thursday's opener early.
The Lady Lions scored a run in the third and two more in the fourth and let Thompson and the defense do the rest.
The Lady Lions had 11 hits and eight of the nine starters had at least one hit.
BG scored in the third when Sydney Horner and Thompson singled to put runners at first and third and Brittany Nichols came through with a clutch RBI single.
The Lady Lions added two runs in the third.
Katie Haden led off with a single and went to second on Sarah Conger's sacrifice bunt. Then Mariah Horner ripped a triple to right center to bring in Haden. Dani Lima doubled home Horner to give Blooming Grove just enough to get the win.
Hubbard 5, Itasca 3
“We just hung on,'' said Hubbard Coach Mike Saucke, whose team played Itasca in a one-game winner-take-all Class 1A bi-district playoff on Thursday in Italy. Hubbard (23-5-1) advances to the area round playoff game with the victory.
“The way we're looking at it is that we won and that's the only thing that matters,'' Saucke said.
The Lady Jags were down 3-1 after three innings but erupted for a four-run fourth inning and ace Olivia Curtis did the rest. She struck out 11 and gave up just five hits, and did not allow an earned run to improve to 18-3-1 for the season.
The Lady Jags got on the board in the first after Nakaila Banks walked and stole second and third. Amy Anz delivered the RBI single to right.
Anz led off the fourth with a walk and Megan Walker followed with a single. Jamie Goodpaster had an RBI single to sore Anz and Shayla Parks reached on a bloop fly ball that the second baseman couldn't handle that brought home Walker. Banks came through with a two-out triple that bounced off the left field wall to give Hubbard a 5-3 lead.