The Lee softball team let a seventh inning lead slip away in game two in suffering a 4-3 loss to Delta State in the night cap of Sunday's doubleheader to wrap up the GSC weekend series.
The Lady Flames now sit at 22-26 and 10-17 in the GSC. They are currently a 1.5 games out of the eighth and final spot in the GSC Tournament currently held by Shorter (11-15) with six conference games remaining (3 vs. West Georgia, 3 at Shorter). Delta State currently sits in sixth in the league standings at 16-11 and are 25-18 overall.
Claudia Jones drilled a two-run home run in the sixth inning to put the Lady Flames up 3-2 in the tightly contested battle.
The Lady Statesmen would have the last laugh however as Jordan Jones and Byrd delivered back to back hits with two outs to steal the victory and the series win.
Jones was down to her final strike with a 2-2 count when she singled up the middle to tie things up at 3 for her fourth hit of the game.
Kelly Byrd followed with the game winner as she doubled home Abi Gibson.
Leigh Beatenbough (12-9) worked all 6.2 innings for the Lady Flames. She allowed just two unearned runs before running into trouble in the final inning. The senior gave up nine hits, struck out three and walked three.
Taylor Johnson (10-8) rebounded from a rocky game one start to earn the win with a complete game performance for Delta State. She allowed three runs on eight hits but did not surrender a walk.
Taylor Moran got the Lady Flames on the board first with a RBI triple right center. Moran finished 2 for 3 and has a sizzling slash line of .450/.814/.570 on the year.
GAME ONE – LEE 2 DELTA STATE 7
The Lady Statesmen used a four-run fifth inning to break open a close game en route to a 7-2 victory over the Lady Flames in Sunday's opener.
The Lee offense managed just four singles off Delta State's Fullilove (9-3). The Lady Flames still left nine runners on base however thanks to eighth walks. Fullilove did have eight strikeouts and allowed two runs, one earned in the complete game win.
Moran singled, scored and walked twice while Abby McKinney singled, walked and scored the final Lee run.
Erika Greek (2-4) also pitched the full game in the circle. The hard-throwing junior allowed seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits. She too struggled to find the strike zone yielding seven walks.
Abi Gibson wreaked havoc out of the leadoff spot for Delta State as she finished with two singles, two RBI, two runs scored and three stolen bases.
The Lady Flames will host a crucial three-game series against West Georgia beginning Friday evening at 6 p.m. from Butler field. The series holds major playoff implications as Lee is up just one game on the Wolves as both teams try and chase down the eighth and final spot in the GSC Tournament.
With every game feeling like a playoff battle as the Lee softball team tries to chase down a spot in the GSC Tournament the Lady Flames opened their series at Delta State on Saturday by out slugging the Lady Statesmen, 11-6.
The two teams danced around prevailing rain in the Mississippi Delta but were able to find a gap in the showers to open up their three-game set.
The Lady Flames pounded out 13 hits and were led by sophomore Brooklynn Frazier who doubled, singled and drove in five runs. Kayla Louie was a perfect 3 for 3 and scored three runs.
Senior Leigh Beatenbough gutted things out in the circle as she battled around nine hits and six doubles to earn the victory. The righty struck out five and walked two while allowing the six runs.
After falling behind 7-2 Delta State rallied back for three runs in the fifth to pull within two at 7-5 before the Lady Flames' offense got things rolling again with four more insurance runs in the top of the seventh to put the contest out of reach.
"We played well tonight offensively. I was proud of our effort in difficult conditions of starting the game and playing for three innings in the rain," said head coach Emily Russell.
Claudia Jones drilled a three-run double to right to cap off a four-run third inning for Lee. Stevie Baird doubled and scored a pair of runs while freshman Kayla Gooch continued settle in to the leadoff spot with a pair of hits and two RBI.
Kelly Byrd went 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI to pace the Lady Statesmen offensively. Jordan Jones also had a multi-hit performance with a double and a single while Abi Gibson scored twice from the leadoff spot.
Taylor Johnson (9-8) started and allowed seven runs (four earned) in three-plus innings of work. Mari Alex Sandridge tossed the final four frames and allowed four unearned runs.