The Lady Panthers scored three runs in the first inning and staved off upset-minded Clark County 3-2 in the semifinals of the Class 2 District 7 Tournament.
Survive and advance.
It’s the motto for most teams when it comes to the postseason.
The Palmyra softball team did just that on Thursday.
The Lady Panthers scored three runs in the first inning and staved off upset-minded Clark County for a 3-2 win in the first semifinal of the Class 2 District 7 Tournament at Lions Club Field.
“A win is a win at this point,” Palmyra coach Jill Arch said.
Bailey Lovelace started the home half of the first inning with a lead-off walk.
Lexi Arch moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt.
Lovelace would come around to score on a wild pitch.
After walks to Megan Stone and Brooke Wilson, Morgan Ingram laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Stone.
Palmyra picked up its third run of the frame when senior Baylee Anderson delivered a 2-out RBI single to left field.
It was the only hit for the Panthers in the 3-run frame.
“I am just glad I could come through for my team,” Anderson said of her hit.
Clark County trimmed the lead to 3-1 in the top of the third inning when Katelyn Kirchner singled home Abby Brown.
The Lady Indians scored the final run of the game in the fourth inning when Abby Ellison led off with a solo home run.
After Lady Panthers starter Lauren VanTress hit Breanna Lee with the next pitch, Arch brought in Alana Comstock to pitch.
The Lady Panthers ace recorded the final 12 outs of the game to earn the win. She allowed just one hit and struck out five, including the side in the top of the seventh inning.
Arch was happy with the way both of her hurlers pitched.
“Lauren started out really good and just had the one bad inning,” the Lady Panthers coach said. “Then Alana came in and did an awesome job.”
Comstock added a fourth inning single and Ingram collected a single in the sixth inning for the only other hits of the game for the Lady Panthers in the win.
“Our offense was a little rough today, but I hope we can come back more aggressive and better results on Saturday,” Anderson said.
Arch mentioned the first inning made her team get away from its good plate discipline.
“I think we just got a little too anxious at the plate after scoring three runs in the first inning,” she said. “And then we started biting on the changeup. We just were not staying back and driving the ball like we normally do.”
Palmyra will face Clarence Cannon Conference foe Highland for the district championship at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Highland knocked off Monroe City, 1-0, in the second semifinal on Thursday.
“We just have to play heads up ball, hit the ball and score more runs,” Arch said. “We know they are going to hit, so we just have to out hit and out score them. I like the way we are pitching and playing defense right now.”
Anderson mentioned she hopes her career can continue.
“I am excited and ready for Saturday,” the Lady Panthers senior said. “I am not ready for this to end yet.”