MAN — The Man High School softball team avenged an earlier extra inning loss a few weeks ago to Wyoming East as the Lady Billies returned the favor with a 4-2 win on Saturday on Senior Night at the Man softball field to gain a series split.
Five seniors were honored in Cari Blair, Casey Albright, Kelli Grimmett, Madison Keffer and Elizabeth Dickerson along with the coaching staff.
Man improved to 13-11 on the season.
The Lady Billlies were coming off a 19-0 win last Thursday night at Class A sectional foe Tug Valley. Man and the Lady Panthers are set to play a best-of-three game sectional tourney series next week.
Man beat Tug Valley 10-0 earlier in the season.
In Saturday’s game, the Lady Billies took an early 3-0 lead with a three-spot in the bottom of the first inning off Lady Warrior hurler Emily Day and never looked back.
Freshman Hunter Harvey led off with a walk, Grimmett reached on an error and Sidney Keffer laid down a bunt to load the bases with no outs.
Hunter Harvey then stole home to give MHS a 1-0 lead. Madison Keffer laced an RBI single to give the Lady Billies a 2-0 lead and freshman Gracie Cline later walked with the bases loaded to push the Man lead to 3-0. Dickerson grounded out to end the rally.
Class AA Wyoming East scored its first run of the game in the top half of the second stanza off Man starter Keffer to cut the Lady Billies deficit to 3-1.
Katlin Francis got a one-out single and later scored after Madison Keffer walked Stephanie Salmons with the bases loaded with one out. Keffer then got Morgan Wrenn to hit into a force play at the plate and then retired Kaitlyn Mills to goround out to end the inning.
The Lady Warriors cut the Man lead to 3-2 with a single run in the top of the third inning. Hailey Lowman got a one out walk off Keffer and went to second and third on wild pitches and then scored as she stole home with two outs to make it a one-run game. Keffer then got Morgan Adkins to ground out to end the third frame.
Man plated an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning off Day. Blair led off with a single and Keffer then laid down a sac bunt. Albright then delivered an RBI single, scoring Blair to make it a 4-2 game. Emily Toler then struck out and Cline grounded out to end the fifth for Man.
Keffer then slammed the door, getting the Lady Warriors out in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to preserve the victory.
Blair and Albright had two singles each to lead the Man hitting attack, while Madion Keffer, Sidney Keffer and Toler had one hit each.
Keffer had three strikeouts and gave up just four hits in picking up the win.
Man was slated to go to county rival Logan on Monday, weather permitting.
The Lady Billies close out the regular season on Wednesday at Charleston Catholic before taking on Tug Valley next week in the sectionals.
After outscoring Tug 29-0 in two games this season Man will be heavily favored to sweep the Lady Panthers.
Tug Valley is just 1-11 on the season. TV’s only win this year was an 18-14 victory over Tolsia on April 9 at home.
TVHS has lost four striaght games and have been outscored 51-5.
Tug Valley most recently played on April 21 at home against Sheldon Clark (Ky.) and was swept 10-0 and 10-4. The Lady Panthers have given up 10 or more runs in all 12 games played this season.