The Gordon Lee Lady Trojans had a pair of three-run innings on Friday night, but countered a five-run inning by Heritage with a five-spot of their own and took Game 1 of the NGAC softball tournament finals with a 13-7 victory at Heritage.
After both teams left a runner stranded in the first inning, Gordon Lee broke through in the top of the second. Mila Smith came through with an RBI-single before Abby Jackson plated two runs with a double.
Two more base runners were stranded in the bottom of the second, but Heritage would finally get to Gordon Lee starter Anniston Hudson in the third. Gracie Dawson and Madeline Stone delivered back-to-back RBI-doubles to cut the Lady Trojans lead down to one, but Hudson would induce a 4-3 putout to escape further damage.
Gordon Lee would leave them loaded against Heritage starter Brinley Horner in the top of the fourth, but came through an inning later. After loading the bases with one out, Emma McGraw brought in a run with a single, Emma Phillips made it 5-2 with an RBI off a groundout to third and Jackson added to the lead with a sacrifice fly to center.
Heritage would put two on with no one out in the bottom of the fifth, but Hudson would use a strikeout, a flyout and a groundball out to wiggle out of the jam. The offense then tacked on two runs in the top of the sixth as Allie Farrow's groundout to first allowed Asia Lanham to score and a Macy Sharp sac fly plated Hudson to make it 8-2.
But the Generals got right back into it in the sixth, filling the sacks full for Savannah Wilson, who hit a liner that a leaping Lanham at second couldn't bring down. After Riley Kokinda picked up an RBI on a 4-3 putout at first, Zoe Wright walked to reload the bases. Dawson then hit a two-run single and Wright would make it 8-7, coming all the way around to score as the throw home got to the backstop.
However, C.J. Gentry would rush up from her rightfield spot to snare a liner, ending the inning and preserving the one-run lead.
The Navy-and-White got five big insurance runs a half-inning later. After loading the bases with one out, Lanham would come through with an RBI-single, followed by a two-run hit to right by Hudson. Kylie Collins and Farrow would tack on RBIs to add to the lead before the inning was finished and Hudson got Heritage 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh to give the Lady Trojans a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Game 2 is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Gordon Lee with Game 3, if needed, to immediately follow.