FORT PAYNE – The Fort Payne Lady Wildcats used a pair of big rallies at the plate and a dominant performance in the pitcher’s circle from Addison Eason to beat the Cherokee County Lady Warriors 8-1 Wednesday at home.
Eason struck out nine, walked three and gave up just one unearned run on two base hits through seven innings. She threw 94 pitches and fired first-pitch strikes to 15 of the 26 batters she faced.
The Lady Warriors’ lone run of the day came in the top of the first after a leadoff walk came around to score on an error to give Cherokee County the early advantage.
Fort Payne answered back at the plate in the bottom of the second and gave Eason all the run support she would need for the win.
That inning was led off with a single up the middle from Taylor Camp. She moved to second on an error from Cherokee County’s catcher and went to third on a sacrifice bunt from Eason.
Madison Medckie then drove Camp in with an RBI single to center field to tie the score at 1-all.
Anna McElrath and Braden Barksdale later singled to load the bases with two outs. Cherokee County then committed two more errors, which allowed all three baserunners to score to make the lead 4-1.
The Lady Warriors threatened to cut into the lead in the top of the third after a walk, an error and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position with one out.
Eason escaped the jam unscathed though by striking out the next two batters she faced on seven pitches.
Fort Payne later rallied for three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. That scoring spree started with a 1-out single from Barksdale. She went to second on an error in the Lady Warriors’ outfield before Laci Blankenship drove her in by reaching on another error.
Emily Ellis then dropped a bunt towards third base and beat the ball to first for an infield single and moved Blankenship up to third on the play.
Hannah Buffington drove Blankenship in with a sacrifice fly to left field and Ellis later scored while Camp reached on an error to make the score 7-1.
Barksdale scored the final run of Wednesday’s game in the fifth when she ripped a 2-out double and later scored on an RBI single from Ellis.
Eason closed out her 2-hitter by retiring each of the last nine batters she faced to seal the win.
Barksdale led the Lady Wildcats’ lineup with a 3-for-3 day at the plate. She doubled once, singled twice and scored three runs in the win.
Eason helped her own cause at the plate batting 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Ellis batted 2-for-4 with two singles, a run scored, a stolen base and an RBI.
Medckie was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, McElrath was 1-for-3 with a run scored and Buffington had one RBI.