By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
---- — FRANKTON — Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday.
In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.
The Arabians and the Eagles will meet Friday at 5 p.m. at Frankton for the right to play for the County championship on Saturday.
The Eagles went ahead for good with a four-run fourth, taking advantage of Tigers' walks and errors. Frankton had just two hits in the inning, singles by Kaylee Irwin and Ashtyn Rastetter. Rastetter was the day's hitting hero with three singles and a double, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
Kyleigh Garner was the starting pitcher but lasted only into the second when she was struck just below the knee by a line drive and had to leave. Tia Sharp came on in relief to get the win. Taylor Ryan finished up by pitching a scoreless seventh.
Garner returned to the game in the fourth to play second base. On the day she had two hits, scored two runs and drove in one.
The Tigers had 10 hits in the game but they were spread around. Only Makayla Alberts and Taylor Jennings had more than one hit. Each had two singles.
For Alexandria, Hannah Murphy pitched a complete game.
In the nightcap, a pitcher's duel emerged as both the Argylls' starter Cierra Liddick hooked up with the Arabians' pitcher Bailey Benefiel.
Madison-Grant turned a hit batter, a passed ball and a single by Liddick into a 1-0 lead before Pendleton Heights ever got a chance to bat.
The Arabians appeared ready to return the favor in the first when Sarah Dixon singled and stole second. But Liddick struck out Heather Wendling, Delilah Wright and Benefiel in order to retire the side and end the threat.
PH loaded the bases in the second on two walks and a hit batter, but Liddick retired Dixon on an infield pop fly to protect the 1-0 lead.
The top of the third is an inning the Argylls will regret for a long time. With one out, Kayla Stanley doubled to center and went to third on an Arabian error. But Stanley decided to try and score on the play. The throw came to PH catcher Jordan Dean ahead of Stanley's arrival. Stanley crashed into Dean and Dean went down to the ground. After she landed and the umpire called Stanley out, the ball was laying on the dirt.
After a conference among the three umpires, it was determined that Dean held the ball long enough for the out. It was a run the Argylls would later need.
Pendleton tied the game in the fifth. Breanna Pryor walked for the second time in the game and was sacrificed to second by Dixon. Wendling bunted for a single but the throw to first was wild and Pryor scored. Wendling advanced to third but was erased when Wright bunted into a double play.
Benefiel closed the door on the Argylls over the final three innings, allowing no hits and only one baserunner.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Arabians won the game. Sydney Windlan singled and went to second on an errant throw back to the infield. Ashley King put down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first allowed her to reach safely with Windlan going to third.
With Pryor at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Windlan to score with the winning run.
Anderson vs. Elwood at Liberty Christian, 5 p.m.