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By GOOSE LINDSAY
After dropping a pair of games to Midway earlier in the season, the Rockwood Lady Tigers knew they had to beat Harriman Thursday night if they wanted to stay in the race for the regular season District 3-A title.
Rockwood did just that as Jessica Jones' squad never trailed in picking up an 8-1 victory.
The game was close for three innings, as the Lady Tigers led just 1-0, but Rockwood scored three runs in the fourth inning to open up their lead and then the Lady Tigers put Harriman away with three runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Rockwood took the lead in the top of the second inning after a couple of bizarre plays.
With runners on first and second with only one out, Harriman's Lindsey Higgins struck out Hailey Yelton for the second out of the inning then Lady Devil catcher Kaci Byargeon threw to first where Lindsey Daugherty appeared to tag Vida Harp for the third out of the inning. Harp was ruled safe, however, as the Lady Tigers had new life.
The second break of the inning for the Lady Tigers came on the next batter as Kwan Bazel hit a ground ball to short. Moriah Anderson came up with the ball and was ready to flip the ball to second for the final out of the inning, but no one was covering the base and that allowed everyone to be safe, including Kelsey Brackett at home with the first run of the game.
The Lady Tigers didn't need any help scoring their final seven runs.
Three of those runs came in the top of the fourth inning as Rockwood took advantage of two hits and four walks.
Courtney Beaty walked and Harp singled to start the inning then Kat Bazel drove in both runs with a double off the top of the center field fence. Bazel scored later on a wild pitch to give the Lady Tigers a 4-0 lead.
Rockwood made it 5-0 with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Beaty got things going with a one-out walk and she scored on a single from Yelton.
The Lady Tigers put the game out of reach with three runs in the seventh inning.
Brackett opened the inning by reaching on an error then Beaty walked to start the rally. Both runners would eventually score on wild pitches.
Yelton walked later in the inning and scored on a single from Kat Bazel.
Harriman avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Byargeon singled, stole second and scored on a single from Higgins to make the final score 8-1.
Kat Bazel (3-5, 1 2B, 3 RBIs, 1 run) was the lone Lady Tiger to have multiple hits on the day while Higgins (2-3, 1 RBI) had multiple hits for Harriman.
Lindsey Booth picked up the victory for Rockwood. Booth pitched a complete-game five-hitter with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Higgins took the loss, allowing seven hits and 11 walks to go along with five strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Rockwood and Harriman will meet again Tuesday at Rockwood. Harriman will also play at Oliver Springs Wednesday before ending the week with home games against Midway and Kingston.