A sacrifice fly by Annabeth Pruett in the bottom of the 11th lifted Lee softball team to a win over the No. 25 Shorter Lady Hawks, 8-7 in a dramatic affair at Butler Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Lady Flames trailed 6-4 heading into their final at bat in the seventh inning when Stevie Baird doubled to deep left center with one out to get the rally started. Allison Meadows followed with a bunt single to put the pressure on the Lady Hawks.
After an RBI groundout by Abby McKinney made it 6-5, the Lady Hawks gift wrapped the tying run with back to back wild pitches to allow Meadows to score and force extra innings for the second time in the series.
The two rivals went scoreless through the eighth frame before Shorter jumped ahead 7-6 in the ninth when Abi Valdes reached on error scoring Tiffany Holland.
But the never-say-die Lady Flames had some more magic left in the tank as Taylor Moran smashed a home run to centerfield with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the contest back up. Moran finished with three runs scored.
Moran would make the lead stick as she finished off 8.1 innings of relief allowing just two runs, one earned, on seven hits. She struck out six and kept a runner stranded at third in the both the 10th and 11th innings when the international tiebreaker (placing a runner on second to start the inning) was put into effective. The freshman improved to 4-2 and lowered her ERA to a miniscule 1.21 on the season.
"Taylor has an innate ability to always feel like no matter the situation she's going to come out on top. She has such a competitive spirit and she showed that today on the mound and at the plate," said head coach Emily Russell after the game.
Freshman Brooklynn Frazier tripled in a pair of runs in the first inning, drilled a two-run home run in the third inning and singled in the sixth to finish 3 for 4 with four RBI and a run scored.
Bynum led the Lady Hawks with three hits and drove in a run. Valdes, who entered the contest after clean-up hitter Kameron Carter went out in the second inning after injuring her wrist on a slide, finished with two hits, two RBI and two runs scored.
Shorter used three pitchers with Kalei Clark working the final four innings after Hannah Draper gave up the lead in the seventh. Clark was charged with one earned run on three hits and was tagged with the loss to fall to 7-2 on the year. Payton Lippert, who earned the win in game one yesterday, got the start in the circle and was touched up for four runs in 2.1 innings of work.
The Lady Flames improve to 18-9 overall and 9-6 in the GSC. The loss drops Shorter to 21-10 and 10-5.
Lee will travel to King University of a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday before welcoming No. 6 and GSC leader Valdosta State to Butler Field next weekend for the a three-game series. First pitch of Saturday's twin bill is slated for 2 p.m.