The Athens Review
With a trip to the regional semifinals on the line, the Malakoff Lady Tigers needed a Saturday sweep.
In the end, the Lone Oak Lady Buffs made sure that would not happen as they knocked out Malakoff, 3-1, in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.
In the top of the 10th inning, Lone Oak scored the game winning runs as Chelsea Rigsby reached on a single and advanced to third on a bunt single by Mariah Nichols.
Following a strikeout to Ashlee Isenburg, Tristan Beck reached on an error by the shortstop as Rigsby and Nichols came around to score.
Weather played a factor on the opening night of the series after the game was originally scheduled to be played in Lone Oak.
The two teams went to Forney due to unplayable field conditions.
After three innings, the game was halted due to a lightning delay and rain shower that deemed the field unplayable.
After talks to get three different schools that night, the two teams decided to head to Malakoff High School.
In the end, the game went in favor of Lone Oak, 7-2, around 11:35 p.m.
On Saturday, the series moved from Malakoff High School to Sunnyvale High School.
With the season on the line, Malakoff sophomore Hazel Puempel pitched a strong game with a complete game five hitter — giving up three runs, two of them earned. She threw 171 pitches with 15 strikeouts and six walks.
Both teams had a strong start to the game as Puempel and Nichols allowed only one combined hit in the first six innings.
Malakoff senior catcher Georgina Salazar had one of three hits for the Lady Tigers in the ball game.
In the sixth inning, the Lady Buffs scored the game’s first run as Rigsby led off with a double.
Ashleee Isenburg then put runners on first and second and she reached on a walk. Beck then loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch.
On the next at-bat, Becca Schumann smacked an RBI-single to left field scoring Rigsby.
The Lady Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning as Salazar reached on a single. She was then called out as Candace Denis reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second.
On the next at-bat, freshman Abby Terzis traded spots with Denis as she hit a double to left field to tie the game.
With the game on the line in the 10th, the Lady Tigers had lead off hitter Abby Terzis reach on a single and went to second on a stolen base.
Following a strikeout, sophomore first baseman Cheyenne Ramsey reached on an error by the left field on a shallow fly ball.
Nichols was able to work out of the jam with a pop up to shortstop and a strikeout to end the game.
Leading the way for the Lady Tigers was Salazar and Abby Terzis. They each went 2-for-4, while Terzis had an RBI and a stolen base.
For Lone Oak, Nichol picked up the complete-game win in the circle — allowing one run on four hits with nine strikeouts.
Notes: Malakoff was the lone Henderson County area team left in the playoffs ... This was the farthest the Lady Tigers have advanced in the playoffs in the past three years. ... This was also the final game for Salazar, Hannah Carter and Jaynie Valero.