MONTGOMERY – The Plainview Lady Bears had their fourth consecutive trip to the Class 3A State Softball Tournament end sooner than they hoped it would Wednesday at Lagoon Park.
The DeKalb County Tournament champions and 3A North Regional runner-up suffered a pair of heartbreaking losses to Prattville Christian Academy and Oakman by a combined three runs in their first two games of the double-elimination tournament.
The two losses closed the Lady Bears’ 2019 campaign with a 39-15 overall record.
Here are recaps of Plainview’s two games at the 2019 Class 3A State Tournament:
PRATTVILLE CHR. 3,
The Lady Bears looked to get revenge on the Prattville Christian Lady Panthers, who knocked Plainview out of the winner’s bracket in the second round a year ago.
After a quick first inning that saw neither lineup record a hit, Plainview’s Krimson Kidd powered through to give the Lady Bears an early lead.
The junior left-hander launched the first pitch she saw over the center-field wall for a solo home run.
Lily Boswell then struck out the side in the to give her five punch outs through just two innings.
The Lady Bears then had an opportunity to pad their early lead when Jacey Crowell reached with 1-out on an error while bunting.
Tobi Trotter followed with a bunt-single to the left side to put runners at first and second with one out.
Crowell and Trotter wouldn’t move any closer to home plate though as the Lady Panthers forced a pair of pop flies to end the scoring threat.
Prattville’s leadoff batter drew a walk to start the bottom of the third, but Plainview catcher Mia Tidmore quickly picked her off at first base. Boswell then got the Lady Panthers’ next two batters to ground out and fly out to end the inning.
Boswell then struck out the side in both the fourth and fifth innings before the Lady Bears’ lineup tried to add a second run to their lead again in the sixth when Kenzi Traylor led off with a double to right field.
That scoring opportunity was spoiled though as the Lady Panthers forced a lineout and two strikeouts to strand the runner.
Prattville then rallied to tie the game in their half of the sixth.
A leadoff single was followed by two straight sacrifice bunts to move the runner to third. Two batters later, a single up the middle scored that runner from third and knotted the score at 1-all.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh to send the game to extra innings. Plainview had Crowell, Trotter and Traylor all make solid contact at the plate in the top of the eighth, but all three of their hits were caught in the air to send the Lady Panthers to the plate.
Prattville’s Madison Hanson led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to left field. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before Carolyn Carter ended the game with a 2-run walk-off homer over the center field to give Prattville a dramatic 3-1 win.
Boswell was masterful from the pitcher’s circle before that walk-off home run. She struck out 13 and walked three in 7 1/3.
Plainview’s four hits in the game came from Trotter, Traylor, Kidd and Tidmore.
With their season on the line, the Lady Bears got off to a blazing fast start in their losers’ bracket matchup with the Oakman Lady Wildcats, but eventually allowed that lead to slip away.
Plainview’s hot start stemmed from a leadoff triple from Tobi Trotter in the top of the first. Kenzi Traylor then followed that with a 2-run blast over the left-field wall to put the Lady Bears up 2-0.
Krimson Kidd later doubled and Mia Tidmore singled in the inning with two outs, but Plainview wasn’t able to pad their early and stranded both runners in scoring position.
Oakman answered with a run in their half of the first to cut the lead in half.
Jayla Gravitt then led off the second with a single and Jacey Crowell followed with a double to put runners at second and third with no outs.
Gravitt scored on a sacrifice fly from Tobi Trotter and Crowell was stranded at third to make it a 2-run lead again for Plainview.
Oakman then capitalized on two walks and an error to plate another run in the bottom of the third to make the score 3-2.
Plainview’s lineup then went down in order in the top of the fourth before Oakman’s Samantha Kelly launched a game-tying solo homer to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
Plainview quickly took back the lead in the top of the fifth when Crimson Wells launched a 1-out solo shot over the center-field wall to give the Lady Bears a 4-3 lead.
That lead wouldn’t last for long though as Oakman powered through for their best rally of the game in the bottom of the fifth.
A 1-out walk that was followed by three singles and a double allowed the Lady Wildcats to plate four runs and gave them their first lead of the game at 7-4.
Oakman added a run in the bottom of the sixth before Plainview tried to muster one last rally to try and keep their season alive.
Tobi Trotter started that rally in the top of the seventh by drawing a walk. Traylor followed by ripping a single to left field before Wells launched her second home run of the game. The 3-run shot cut the lead to one and made the Plainview faithful in attendance erupt in cheers.
Oakman then recorded two quick outs before Tidmore reached on an error and represented the tying run at first base. She would never move up from there though as the Lady Wildcats forced a groundout to end both the game and the Lady Bears’ season.
Tessa Word struck out four and walked three through the first 4 1/3. Lily Boswell then came in and struck out two over the last 1 2/3.
Crimson Wells’ two homers gave her four RBIs in the game. Traylor was 2-for-4 with her homer and two RBIs. Kidd and Gravitt had two hits each, Trotter was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI and Puckett, Tidmore and Crowell all had one hit each.