The LaFayette Lady Ramblers were four outs away from securing a spot in the Class AAAA state tournament Monday night.
Now they'll need to record 18 more.
Leading second-seeded and No. 1 state-ranked Northwest Whitfield 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Bruins got an RBI-double from KayLeigh Fitzgerald and a follow-up RBI-single off the bat of Sydney Horne for what became the tying and eventual winning runs.
The Lady Ramblers would have one more good chance to score in the top of the sixth, but Northwest would escape the jam and strand runners at second and third.
LaFayette outhit Northwest, 4-3. The lone run for the Lady Ramblers came in the top of the third as Nicky Yancy laced a one-out double and scored on a single by Ashton Stalling.
Madison Pettigrew pitched 4.2 innings for LaFayette in defeat. She gave up two earned runs on three hits and four walks with nine strikeouts. Stalling fanned two in 1.1 scoreless, hitless innings of work.
LaFayette opened the night by run-ruling Pickens, 8-0, in five.
Shelby Adkins swung the biggest stick for the Orange-and-Black, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs, including a walk-off, two-run double in the bottom of the fifth. Stalliing was 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored, while Pettigrew, Megan Wilson and Carlee Corbin also had RBI-singles.
Pettigrew threw all five innings, allowing just two hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
LaFayette (16-9) will face fifth-seeded Gilmer on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in an elimination game. The winner will advance to the state tournament and move on the region tournament to take on the Ridgeland-Pickens winner at 7 p.m.