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Lady Pointers lose heartbreaker in district finals on walk-off HR

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

CHILLICOTHE — The game was full of drama. The script just didn’t have the ending that the South Point Lady Pointers hoped to read.

Meghan Trout hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap a three-run rally as the Alexander Lady Spartans dealt South Point a heartbreaking 4-2 loss on Monday in the Division III Southeast district finals at Unioto High School.

“You always hate to lose, and you really hate to lose in heartbreaking fashion, bit I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s effort tonight,” said Lady Pointers’ coach Tanner Heaberlin.

“But I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s effort tonight and throughout the tournament. Seniors Haley Rawlins and Emilee Powell came up big today at the plate and Abby Hannah came up with a clutch home run when we needed it.”

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Abby Hannah intentionally walked Kendall Meeks for the fourth time. Meeks is Ohio’s all-time home run leader with 48 including 14 this season.

Hannah Howery followed with a line drive single and the ball got through the outfield for an error allowing Meeks to score the tying run all the way from first base.

Trout then hit an 0-2 pitch over the left field fence for a walk-off game-winning homer.

“We decided that we weren’t going to let Kendall Meeks beat us with her bat. And to that end we were successful. Unfortunately, the two girls behind her in the lineup are pretty good, too,” said Heaberlin.

“Our defense played outstanding the entire game. We just didn’t get the outs we needed in the bottom of the seventh.”

Alexander (22-5) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning.

Amber Hart and Nicole Hudnall drew walks and Meeks was issued a one-out intentional walked to load the bases. The next batter popped up for the second out but Trout was hit by a pitch to force in the game’s first run.

South Point came right back in the top of the fourth inning to take the lead but had a chance for more.

After Powell singled, Rawlins doubled down the right field line. Powell raced home but was thrown out on a bang-bang play at home.

Hannah hit a two-run homer two batters later to give the Lady Pointers a 2-1 lead.

Meeks — who went the distance to get the win — retired 10 of the final 12 batters following the home run.

South Point had just five hits with Rawlins going 3-3.

Howery was 3-4 to pace the Lady Spartans.

Despite the loss, Heaberlin praised of his team’s effort in reaching the district finals.

“When the postseason started, we were riding a 10-game losing streak and hadn’t played well for a couple of weeks,” said Heaberlin. “But this group of girls decided to pick it up and have another good tournament run like last year.

“We beat a two- and a three-seed to get to the district finals.”

Heaberlin noted that the seniors — Jamishua Anderson, Stormie Ward, Powell and Rawlins — were part of two Ohio Valley Conference titles, three sectionals, a district runner-up and a district title.

South Point 000 200 0 = 2 5 1

Alexander 001 000 3 = 4 6 0

Abby Hannah and Emilee Powell. Kendall Meeks and Hannah Howery. W-Meeks IP-7, K-9. L-Hannah IP-6.1, K-2, BB-6 (4 intentional). Hitting-SP: Haley Rawlins 3-3, Emilee Powell 1-3, Abby Hannah 1-3; AHS: Hannah Howery 3-4, Meghan Trout 1-4 HR, Abby Howard 2-3.