TAZEWELL, Va. — In a crucial spot at the dish, Leah Patterson got a sweet treat.

Patterson drilled a run-scoring single to center driving in Lindsey Scribner in the bottom of the eighth to cap a remarkable Tazewell rally as the Lady Bulldogs (12-6, 5-1) finally broke through and edged Carroll County 2-1 Thursday in Southwest District action.

“Coach (Tom) Keene told me to back up in the box,” grinned Patterson. “I couldn’t get my wrists rolled over the first two pitches but I took a step back and she (Rebecca Thomas) threw me a meatball. This was a total team effort, though.”

Both squads played top-notch defense with solid pitching. Tazewell turned a second inning double play to erase Jacqueline Martin, who opened the inning with a single. Each team left a pair of runners on, and each had four hits. Tazewell’s two in the last inning made the difference.

Scribner had set up the winning hit with a nifty one-out double down the line in left.

For much of the cloudy afternoon, it appeared that the Lady Cavaliers (7-7, 5-3) were going to avenge their loss at home to Tazewell earlier in the week. Kindra Galyean singled, advanced to second on Amber Cannaday’s sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Leanna Rippey’s solid single to center in the third inning. That pushed Carroll County ahead 1-0.

“This was a tough one to lose. Both teams played their hearts out,” noted Carroll coach Terry Warf. “I was proud of my team. They gave everything out there today.”

Thomas had a standout effort on the mound for Carroll, finishing with 9 strikeouts.

“I was trying to do my best,” she said. “I worked to get ahead in the count and give my defense a chance to make plays. We played really well today.”

With neither team hitting much, Keene juggled his lineup going into the fourth frame. Kelsey Sutherland switched to short, Samantha Boothe took third, and Natalie Parsons replaced Bridgit Cook on the mound.

Parsons took command on the mound and recorded 7 strikeouts in four innings with a fierce determination. It was at the plate, however, that the battling junior kept Tazewell alive.

She ripped a ringing double to left that bounced off the left-center field fence in the fourth but was stranded. With Thomas consistently cooling off the Tazewell bats on a variety of rising fast balls and change ups, it looked increasingly as if the Lady Cavs would make that single run hold up. Steady defense was another key to the Carroll lead.

Parsons refused to surrender. With Tazewell down to just two more outs in the bottom of the seventh, she blasted a deep shot to right center over Cannaday’s head, dashed around second and slid into third with a triple. Thomas’ wild pitch with Katelyn Mitchell at the plate gave Parsons her chance and she raced home to tie the game at 1-1.

“I was looking for anything close to the plate that I could drive,” she laughed. “I just wanted to get on. We had to do something right then.”

In the top of the eighth, Parsons pitching got a ground out and then fired fastballs past the next two hitters to give the Lady Dogs a shot at the win.

Scribner’s double and slide into second left her with a bloodied leg but she was all smiles when Patterson popped the game-ending hit into the outfield.

“I’ve never run so hard in my life,” grinned Scribner. “I was afraid I was going to be out at second and I gave it everything I had. When Leah got the hit, there was no way I was not going to score. After the way we came back to tie the game, we just had to win.”

Parsons, with two extra base hits and the fire to push her team in the clutch, was equally happy. She allowed no hits in four innings.

“This was probably our best game of the year,” she said. “We didn’t hit the ball, but we had perfect defense. We really pulled together as a team. This means a lot to all of us.”

Keene said simply, “This was a win we got by a team effort from everybody out there. It was from the heart. There is nothing else to say.”

Tazewell’s next game is Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Abingdon.

At Tazewell High School

Carroll County.....................001 000 00 — 1

Tazewell...............................000 000 11 — 2

WP — Parsons. LP — Thomas.

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