KENNESAW -- Kennesaw Mountain discovered Tuesday night that not all big leads are safe.
When the Lady Mustangs' game against Hillgrove was delayed in the top of the sixth inning due to lightning in the area, the break gave the Lady Hawks a chance to regroup from a six-run deficit. Once the Region 3AAAAAAA game resumed, the Lady Hawks scored four runs to get within two.
Kennesaw Mountain, however, bounced back by scoring an insurance run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI hit by Ali McGinnis and held on for the 10-7 victory.
“We’ve been in these games before, especially with Hillgrove,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Lisa Chapman said. “We tried to tell them that it doesn’t matter how big the lead is, we've got to still keep working to score runs. That was huge of them to put the ball in play and get us that run in the bottom of the sixth.”
It was all Kennesaw Mountain (14-3, 10-1) in the early innings. The Lady Mustangs got some timely hits and took advantage of Hillgrove errors and walks to take an early 7-0 lead.
A two-run double by Taylor Brown highlighted a five-run second inning by Kennesaw Mountain, which also managed to score two more runs on a groundout to second. Hillgrove’s Camryn Rogers made a diving save, but her throw to first gave the runners extra time to score.
Kennesaw Mountain added another run on a fielder’s choice in the third before GraceAnne Williams singled home Hannah Glass to put the Lady Mustangs ahead 9-2.
Prior to its four-run onslaught in the sixth, Hillgrove (12-6, 8-3) got on the board on a two-run home run by Divina Checo in the fourth. The Lady Hawks also scored in the fifth when a throwing error allowed Kyami Cruz to round the bases after hitting a grounder.
Hillgrove’s Rylee Mitchell led off the sixth with a double before the game was stopped, and the Lady Hawks refused to waste the opportunity.
Once the game resumed, Emma McBrayer and Bailei Bacchus got back-to-back hits. Ryleigh Akery reached on an error and Sammi Adams got an RBI on a groundout before Cruz delivered a two-run single with two outs to put the Lady Hawks right back into the game.
“We started competing,” Hillgrove coach Laura Voyles said.
Pitcher Peyton Corey then came in relief to get the final out for Kennesaw Mountain.
For Kennesaw Mountain, MaKayla Stephens led off the sixth with the double, which set up McGinnis’ RBI hit.