For the second time this week, the Lady Raiders of Oak Hill got up a few runs on the Hebron Lady Eagle softball team and did not relinquish that lead.
The Lady Raiders downed Hebron 6-4 on Thursday afternoon.
“We played a better ball game than we played on Tuesday,” Bratton said. “They played hard, and they battled all the way and didn’t give up.”
In Monday night’s game, Hebron got down 4-0 in the first and could not recover, despite a three-run third.
Thursday’s rematch, a game that was added to the schedule on Wednesday, looked to be a pitcher’s duel starting out.
Oak Hill’s Mamie Allen and Hebron’s Chloe Tapley, girls who were teammates in travel ball this year, faced off against each other on the mound.
Allen hurled the ball first to start the game, setting the Hebron order down one-two-three.
Tapley was up for a battle in the bottom of the first, setting the Oak Hill batters down in order herself.
In the top of the second, Allen was on again, and she fanned all three batters she faced in the inning. In the bottom half Oak Hill was retired without a whimper.
Things continued to go well for Allen in the top of the third, as there was no score, and the Hebron batters were swinging through most of what the sophomore threw at them.
In the bottom of the third, Tapley was the first victim of an offensive outburst.
Allen helped her own cause by getting on with a base hit to lead off the inning. Meg McBrayer ran for her pitcher, and she stole second. After back-to-back strikeouts, it appeared that Tapley was going to escape with no damage.
However, as quick as she struck out the last two batters, she threw two pitches wild which allowed McBrayer to advance to third on the first one and score on the second to make it 1-0.
Anna Lummus then came to the plate and she got an RBI hit to double the lead. With Lummus at third, another wild pitch brought her home to make it 3-0.
In the top of the fourth, Hebron had to act fast to stay in the game. Tapley doubled to lead off the inning.
She was followed by Cathryn Moore, who laced a double to center that made it a 3-1 score.
Allen had a little wildness of her own in the inning, tossing a wild pitch with Moore at third, scoring the third baseman to make it 3-2.
That was the last of the damage in the fourth however.
Thing settled down for both teams at that point, and the Oak Hill batters went down without a fight in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, Hebron could not get much going, leaving runners on in the one-run game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Oak Hill needed to get some insurance runs, and they took advantage of some sloppy defense by the Lady Eagles to get three of them. Paige Dawkins came to the plate with runners at second and third. She blooped a hit behind third base that brought in two Lady Raiders.
An error soon followed that brought in the sixth run of the game for the Lady Raiders.
Time was running out in the top of the sixth inning for Hebron. Allen seemed to be having her best inning yet, setting down the first two batters.
A hit and an error with two outs set up second and third for junior Tori Nichols. A wild pitch scored Hebron’s third run of the afternoon.
Nichols followed with an RBI single, but that would be all Hebron would get in the inning.
Both teams start conference play on Monday and Tuesday.
Hebron will travel to Kemper Academy in a twin bill that starts at 4 p.m.
Oak Hill, which will not be playing in the scheduled MRA tournament this weekend, will play the Lady Rebels of Carroll Academy on Tuesday afternoon, starting at 4 p.m. They will play Central Academy at home on Wednesday as well.