And the winning continues for the CSAS Lady Patriot softball team.
In a season of firsts, the Lady Patriots enjoyed their second "first" in the last two games with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Marion County Lady Warriors on Monday evening at Warner Park in the semifinals of Region 3-A.
The Lady Warriors, who put closure on an outstanding season with a record of 30-9, fell behind early when Brittney Patmon's solo homer in the second gave the hosts a brief 1-0 lead.
Marion came right back to take the lead in the top of the third when Tori Hansard ripped a two-run homer.
That's the way things stood until the bottom of the sixth and that's when CSAS knotted the score on an unearned run.
Patmon reached on an infield error and ended up at second before a sacrifice by Angela Petulla sent Patmon to third. The speedy shortstop then raced home on a wild pitch and slid safely under the tag in a huge cloud of dust to tie the score at 2-2.
CSAS pitcher Brianna Taylor, who won for the 21st time in 30 decisions, then retired the Lady Warriors in order in the seventh, setting the stage for the game-winning rally.
Taylor reached on an infield single and was replaced by courtesy runner Raven Shoulders. Victoria Blanton then reached on another Marion error. Kiara Suttles was out on an infield fly rule as Shoulders and Blanton moved up a base.
Then with a count of one ball and two strikes, Jamani Greer smacked a high-bouncing grounder over second base as Shoulders raced home with the winning run.
"What a great day to be a Lady Pat," exclaimed CSAS coach Kaity Holloway after her girls had improved to 23-10-1.
"This is our first time to win in the region and our second first in the last two games. Winning the district tournament on Friday was the first. I knew that the top of our order was up in the seventh and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
"Jamani had struggled at the plate earlier in the game, but I just told her to hit it hard on the ground and that's exactly what she did. Now we get to play the Whitwell-Silverdale winner here on Wednesday," Holloway smiled.
Marion County coach Chris Thomas knows that softball can be a game of inches and that the least little mistake can be fatal in big games like this one.
"We made a few boo-boos as the ball took some funny hops, but the Taylor girl is a very good pitcher and she kept us off-balance all game long. We didn't hit like we normally do, but when you don't hit, you normally don't win.
"Some days the ball bounces your way and some days it doesn't, but we only have one senior and we hope to be back here next year," Thomas added.
Taylor only allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 13.
Shayla Vandergriff is the only senior on Marion's team and she's the only Lady Warrior with two hits.
The Lady Patriots finished with eight hits, including three from Blanton and two more from Patmon, who had a double in addition to her home run.
MARION COUNTY 002 000 0 -- 2 4 2
ARTS & SCIENCES 010 001 1 -- 3 8 0
O'Kane, Jordan (6) and Barnett; Taylor and Suttles.
(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)