BENNINGTON - The Lady Bears’ run through the fast-pitch softball playoffs ended Friday at the hands of the Tupelo Lady Tigers.
Tupelo swept through three playoff games Friday, first defeating New Lima to set up a re-match against Bennington. They quickly took a 3-0 lead before the Lady Bear bats awakened.
Erica Noland’s two-run single and an RBI base hit for Taylor Dancer tied the game 3-3 in the third. Ashten Belvin, Triston Allen and Ciara Parker scored the runs. But Tupelo got two more in the fourth and both teams clamped down defensively as the Lady Tigers took a 5-3 win over pitcher Callie Clark and the Lady Bears.
Allen and Belvin both drew walks in the sixth inning, and both stole their way to scoring position but they were stranded.
The Tupelo win set up a second and final winner-take-all regional tilt. They took a 2-0 lead but Harley Minyard’s two-RBI double tied the game as Kayle Malone and Anna Folsom both scored.
This brought a chaotic third inning which became the turning point of the game. Bennington took a 4-2 lead, scoring twice on three singles while a number of Tupelo fans were ejected for barking at umpires. The momentum shifted as Clark ran out of gas for the Lady Bears, and Tupelo scored eight runs to take a 10-4 lead.
Bennington fought back and scored six runs in the late innings, but Tupelo answered them all and more to take the regional championship and a trip to the state finals.