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Seventh Heaven

PRAIRIE GROVE PULLS OFF DRAMATIC LAST INNING CONFERENCE VICTORY by Mark Humphrey | April 7, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove sophomore Kaylee Kincaid, playing shortstop, tags out Berryville's Emily Utt before she can get to third. Utt doubled to lead off the top of the seventh with the Lady Bobcats leading 5-2, but was put out when LoraGrace Hill hit into a fielder's choice and Kincaid had the presence of mind to tag out the lead runner instead of throwing to first. Berryville coach Josh Hatfield felt the base-running error cost the Lady Bobcats at least two runs and the game, which Prairie Grove rallied to win 6-5.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- As the 11th hour sounded, Prairie Grove found salvation in the seventh inning to begin 4A-1 Conference softball action at home against Berryville.

Berryville starter Faith Kelley presented a riddle for Prairie Grove batters that lasted six innings before the Lady Tigers resolved a two-out, 6-5, comeback win on Tuesday, March 30.

Both coaches agreed Kelley's performance effectively shut down the Lady Tigers' potent offense.

"Their pitcher was keeping us off stride. We were out in front a lot," said Prairie Grove coach Dave Torres. "We had to put up a 4-spot to win in the seventh. Something we talk a lot about is there are only 21 outs, and we had 20 outs in this game."

Berryville coach Josh Hatfield praised Kelley's pitching, noting other miscues cost the Lady Bobcats a win.

"It was probably one of the best games she's had," Hatfield said. "We made a few base-running mistakes over at third. You never want to get out at third, but we did. That cost us two runs that would have won the game."

Berryville forfeited an opportunity to extend its lead when senior outfielder Emily Utt doubled off the right field wall to leadoff the seventh inning. Prairie Grove pitcher Chloe Hillian induced the next batter, Lora Grace Hill, to hit into a fielder's choice and Prairie Grove sophomore Kaylee Kincaid tagged Utt out as she ran towards third.

Kelley hit a long fly ball that was caught deep in the outfield for the second out and Lady Bobcat first baseman Karlea Standlee hit a grounder to second. Forced to make a play, Prairie Grove came through on defense with Sydney Stearman diving into the dirt stopping the ball. Shortstop Makinsey Parnell came over, picked the ball up, and fired a throw to Madison Hutchinson at first in time to end Berryville's last at-bat.

With Prairie Grove up in a do-or-die situation, Kennison Hamilton swung on the first pitch, sending a fly ball into right field where it was caught and bringing the Lady Bobcats to within two outs of victory.

They never got there, thanks to the tenacity of the Lady Tigers, who shook off memories of ill-fated at-bats up to that juncture.

Hillian drove a single on the ground past first base to get aboard.

Charity Stearman tripled on an 0-1 pitch plating Hillian, making it a two-run game. Elizabeth Stoufer drove in Charity Stearman by blasting a double, inching the Lady Tigers within 5-4.

Hatfield came out to the mound, but didn't make any changes in the lineup.

Sydney Stearman came up with the tying run at second. She drove a ground ball to shortstop, which was fielded cleanly, but a cutoff throw went past third allowing Charity Stearman to score tying the game at 5-5 much to the delight of Prairie Grove fans.

The drama escalated with Berryville executing an outstanding defensive play.

Makinsey Parnell belted a solid single, but the Lady Bobcats relay to the plate came in time to tag Sydney Stearman for the second out. Prairie Grove was now down to its last out with Parnell moving to second on the throw home.

Both coaches also mentioned Hill's gun-out throw in their postgame assessments.

"Their center fielder made a heckuva throw to the plate to get [Sydney] Stearman, but with one out I was going to send her because I knew it would get the runner to second and we'd still have a chance," Torres said.

"Center fielder LoraGrace Hill made an excellent throw home to get her out," Hatfield said. "It was a good battle for us, especially coming off spring break. We just made a few base-running mistakes."

Torres' tactical gamble paid big dividends because the next batter, Kelsey Pickett, blasted a double that enabled Parnell to scoot home, ending the game in a 6-5 Prairie Grove triumph.

"It was a good win to start conference," Torres said. "We had some good, clutch hitting in the seventh to win it, but not much before that."

March 30, 2021

At Prairie Grove

Prairie Grove 6, Berryville 5

Berryville (2-3, 0-1) 012^020^0^--^5^13^2

Prairie Grove (7-3, 1-0) 100^100^4^--^6^9^0

W -- Hillian, L -- Kelley.

MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Sydney Stearman bites the dust to stop the softball in the infield, illustrating the type of effort required of the Lady Tigers in overcoming a 5-2 deficit against Berryville going into the seventh inning. Stearman's valiant defensive play contributed to Prairie Grove's 6-5 comeback victory on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Sydney Stearman bites the dust to stop the softball in the infield, illustrating the type of effort required of the Lady Tigers in overcoming a 5-2 deficit against Berryville going into the seventh inning. Stearman's valiant defensive play contributed to Prairie Grove's 6-5 comeback victory on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Picture perfect teamwork. Prairie Grove senior shortstop Makinsey Parnell comes to the aid of classmate Sydney Stearman, who dove on the ground to stop a hit in the infield, but couldn't get up in time to make the throw to first. Parnell took care of that chore, recording the third out to give the Lady Tigers a chance trailing 5-2 coming into their last at-bat and win 6-5 with four runs crossing the plate in the bottom of the seventh against Berryville.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Picture perfect teamwork. Prairie Grove senior shortstop Makinsey Parnell comes to the aid of classmate Sydney Stearman, who dove on the ground to stop a hit in the infield, but couldn't get up in time to make the throw to first. Parnell took care of that chore, recording the third out to give the Lady Tigers a chance trailing 5-2 coming into their last at-bat and win 6-5 with four runs crossing the plate in the bottom of the seventh against Berryville.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Berryville softball coach Josh Hatfield (right) reacts, realizing Prairie Grove senior Madison Hutchinson has the ball in glove with a foot on the bag to record a force out to end the Lady Bobcats' last at-bat and prevent them from increasing a 5-2 lead. The out involved three Lady Tigers, Sydney Stearman, who dove stopping the ball; Makinsey Parnell, who made the throw; and Hutchinson. Prairie Grove followed up the outstanding defense with offense producing 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh to win 6-5.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Berryville softball coach Josh Hatfield (right) reacts, realizing Prairie Grove senior Madison Hutchinson has the ball in glove with a foot on the bag to record a force out to end the Lady Bobcats' last at-bat and prevent them from increasing a 5-2 lead. The out involved three Lady Tigers, Sydney Stearman, who dove stopping the ball; Makinsey Parnell, who made the throw; and Hutchinson. Prairie Grove followed up the outstanding defense with offense producing 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh to win 6-5.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove softball coach Dave Torres (left) sends Charity Stearman home after a cutoff throw went past third into the fence. Stearman scored the Lady Tigers' fifth run to even the score in the bottom of the seventh. Prairie Grove rallied to win 6-5 in the 4A-1 Conference softball opener on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove softball coach Dave Torres (left) sends Charity Stearman home after a cutoff throw went past third into the fence. Stearman scored the Lady Tigers' fifth run to even the score in the bottom of the seventh. Prairie Grove rallied to win 6-5 in the 4A-1 Conference softball opener on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/The Berryville catcher applies a tag to Prairie Grove senior Sydney Stearman waved in from second by Lady Tiger coach Dave Torres with one out. The brilliant throw home by Lady Bobcats outfielder LoraGrace Hill had a downside for Berryville because it allowed Makinsey Parnell to turn a single into a double. She scored on Kelsey Pickett's double to end the game with Prairie Grove winning 6-5 after beginning the seventh inning with a 3-run deficit on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/The Berryville catcher applies a tag to Prairie Grove senior Sydney Stearman waved in from second by Lady Tiger coach Dave Torres with one out. The brilliant throw home by Lady Bobcats outfielder LoraGrace Hill had a downside for Berryville because it allowed Makinsey Parnell to turn a single into a double. She scored on Kelsey Pickett's double to end the game with Prairie Grove winning 6-5 after beginning the seventh inning with a 3-run deficit on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell goes into a slide while squeezing past Berryville catcher with Lady Bobcat pitcher Faith Kelley backing up at the plate. Parnell scored the winning run on this play after delivering a base hit to keep the Lady Tigers alive in the bottom of the seventh. Kelsey Pickett doubled to bring Parnell home as Prairie Grove emerged with a 6-5 win to start 4A-1 Conference softball play.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell goes into a slide while squeezing past Berryville catcher with Lady Bobcat pitcher Faith Kelley backing up at the plate. Parnell scored the winning run on this play after delivering a base hit to keep the Lady Tigers alive in the bottom of the seventh. Kelsey Pickett doubled to bring Parnell home as Prairie Grove emerged with a 6-5 win to start 4A-1 Conference softball play.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell slides into home between Berryville's catcher and pitcher Faith Kelley backing up at the plate. Parnell took off from second when teammate Kelsey Pickett doubled. The throw to the plate veered off towards Prairie Grove's dugout. Parnell's run won the 4A-1 Conference softball opener for Prairie Grove, 6-5, on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell slides into home between Berryville's catcher and pitcher Faith Kelley backing up at the plate. Parnell took off from second when teammate Kelsey Pickett doubled. The throw to the plate veered off towards Prairie Grove's dugout. Parnell's run won the 4A-1 Conference softball opener for Prairie Grove, 6-5, on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell breaks into a jubilant smile, realizing she just scored the winning run on Kelsey Pickett's double, capping a furious Lady Tiger 4-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to open 4A-1 Conference softball play with a 6-5 win over Berryville on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell breaks into a jubilant smile, realizing she just scored the winning run on Kelsey Pickett's double, capping a furious Lady Tiger 4-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to open 4A-1 Conference softball play with a 6-5 win over Berryville on Tuesday, March 30.
MARK HUMPHREY  ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell drove a single into the outfield, which she turned into a double on a throw home that gunned down classmate Sydney Stearman at the plate for the second out with the game tied 5-5. Parnell scored the winning run coming from second with Kelsey Pickett smacking a double to drive her in.
MARK HUMPHREY ENTERPRISE-LEADER/Prairie Grove senior Makinsey Parnell drove a single into the outfield, which she turned into a double on a throw home that gunned down classmate Sydney Stearman at the plate for the second out with the game tied 5-5. Parnell scored the winning run coming from second with Kelsey Pickett smacking a double to drive her in.
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