The Stockton Lady Tigers led for five innings in Friday’s softball game against Strafford, but home runs ultimately proved to be their undoing.
Hoping to avenge a loss in Strafford less than two weeks earlier, the Lady Indians went yard three times and defeated Stockton 13-7.
Ahead 7-5 and having never trailed, Strafford struck for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth, among them freshman Logan Jones' second dinger of the evening.
Four of Strafford's runs up to that point off starting pitcher Abby Flora had come from the long ball. With Kallie Witlow and Ashley Suter at the corners in the third, Jones drove an offering over the center field wall that cut Stockton's lead to one.
Stockton replied with two runs to extend the lead back to three in the top of the fourth, with offense including a hard-hit RBI single to the wall by Ellie Flora. Ally Rust made it a two-run game by sending one over the wall in left center before Strafford broke out two innings later.
In Strafford’s big inning, Emma Mullings singled, then stole second and advanced on a passed ball before an RBI single by Evelyn Comstock drove her in. Then, Emma Ivey singled fair of the foul line in left to score Comstock and tie the game at 7-7. Lynzey Gire entered in relief of Flora, but infielders could not get leather to a hard-hit grounder between second and third by Highfill, and a passed ball allowed Ivey to score and give the Lady Indians a lead that they never relinquished.
Stockton built its advantage with a run each in the first and second, then added three runs to the lead in the top of the third, including a two-run shot from Abby Flora, who struck out four in the defeat. Ellie Flora had a team-high three hits in the loss.
Mullings pitched a complete game and picked up the win for Strafford with eight Ks.
Abby Flora struck out 10 in five innings when Stockton visited Strafford on Saturday, March 20, but similarly a big inning was the downfall then, too. Down just 3-2, Strafford pushed across seven runs in the fifth for a shortened victory.
Since then, the Tigers had won four of five entering the matchup.
After hosting Pleasant Hope Monday, the Tigers played at Liberal Tuesday, then return home and host Fair Grove Thursday.