Contributed By Brian Schooley
Kensley Jarman’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted Prattville’s varsity softball team to an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Brantley on Thursday afternoon. Jarman’s walk-off hit capped a four-run rally in the last inning to shock the defending Class 1A state champions.
Heading into the last inning, the outlook for the Lady Lions was as gloomy as the weather. Having committed five errors and with only three of Brantley’s seven runs being earned, it looked as though this game had gotten away from Prattville. Brantley scored unearned runs in each of the first three innings to move out to a 3-0 lead and chased starting pitcher Melissa Townsend. Prattville finally responded in the bottom of the third when Eavie Lou Polk and Ty Wilson had back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Townsend followed with a double to right field to pull the Lady Lions within one. Gracie Pittman added a one-out single, but Pittman and Townsend would be stranded on the bases.
After Prattville reliever Kaelyn Campbell struck out the sides in the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Lions tied the score in the bottom half of the inning. Jarman led off with a double to left field and would score on Eavie Lou Polk’s single. In the fifth inning, Prattville’s defensive woes continued, and Brantley cashed in with another unearned run. Not to be deterred, the Lady Lions answered again in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Campbell walked. Pittman then blasted a double into the left field corner, and pinch runner Jordan Harlow scored from first base to tie the score.
Brantley’s offense rallied in the sixth inning. After a one-out double, Townsend made a nice play at shortstop on a slap-hit ground ball. With no play at first to get the speedy lefty hitter, Townsend picked the runner off of second base with Polk applying the tag. It looked as if the Lady Lions might get out of the inning, but the next batter ripped a double, followed by a two-run homer from Brantley catcher Kassidy Wilcox. Brantley’s lead swelled to 7-4.
The Lady Lions were retired in order in the sixth inning. After Campbell put Brantley down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh, Prattville came to life and displayed the hearts of Lions. Ty Wilson led off the inning with a sinking line drive into left field. The left fielder over-committed on the ball and it skipped past her to the fence. With her amazing speed, Wilson raced around the bases to narrow the lead to two runs. Townsend followed with her second double of the game. With one out, Pittman was hit by a pitch to put the tying run on base. Aliyah Hamilton followed with her second single of the game, which scored Townsend. Pittman and Hamilton each advanced a base on the Brantley attempt to get Townsend out at the plate. After the second out was recorded, the stage was set for Jarman’s heroics. After falling behind one and two in the count, Jarman laced a single into centerfield scoring both Pittman and Hamilton. Ball game!
Campbell earned her 11th victory of the season, and Prattville upped its record to 24-12-1. The Lady Lions, ranked 10th in the state in the most recent poll, will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Oak Mountain.