The Ringgold Lady Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead at LFO on Monday and used some outstanding defense in the final innings to end the Lady Warriors' comeback attempt and seal an important 6-5 Region 6-AAA victory.
Leading 6-3 going into the bottom of the sixth, LFO had runners at the corners with one out for Jessica Coates, who brought in a run on a fielder's choice. Courtesy runner Taylor Bono would use a great slide to safely make it to third following a Taylor Phillips single before Haley Stahl hit a run-scoring single back up the middle to cut the gap down to one.
Auna Rolfe, who hit a two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth inning to get LFO back in the game, lined a two-out shot toward the left-centerfield gap that looked to be certain extra bases. But left fielder Brooklyn Keith, the only senior on the Lady Tigers' roster, went full extension to make a tremendous diving catch to end the inning and preserve the narrow lead.
After Ringgold could do nothing without one-out single by Taylor Layne in the top of the seventh, Ringgold would retire the side in order to finish off the win, including a nice diving stop by first baseman Baileigh Pitts, who flipped to Caroline Hemphill covering the bag for the second out.
The four-run first inning included a pair of walks and an RBI on a fielder's choice by Riley Nayadley. Jade Gainer followed up with an RBI-double and two runs would come home on an LFO error.
Jessica Coates plated her sister Jennifer Coates with an RBI-single in the bottom of the third to get the Lady Warriors on the board before Rolfe followed up Stahl's leadoff single with the homer that cut the Ringgold lead to 4-3.
Amber Gainer would answer with a solo shot to lead off the fifth for Ringgold. The Lady Warriors appeared headed for a big inning in the bottom of the fifth, but left the bases loaded as Ringgold starter Kaylee Phillips pitched her way out of the jam.
Shelby Cole delivered a clutch two-out, bloop RBI-single to score Keith in top of the sixth to give Ringgold an important extra insurance run.
Phillips would get the victory, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with three walks. Stahl took the loss for LFO with a nearly identical pitching line. She gave up three earned runs on just five hits with three walks. Neither pitcher recorded a strikeout in the game.
All five Ringgold hits came from five different players, while Phillips and Stahl had two hits apiece for LFO.
Ringgold (6-8, 6-6) will play Tuesday at Haralson County in another important region game, while LFO (4-7, 3-7) will travel south to North Murray.