The North Lincoln Lady Knights lost a heartbreaker Tuesday at the hands of Southern Foothills 1A leader Cherryville 3-2 in 12 innings.
The Lady Knights got on the board first when Mackenzie Harkey knocked in Kayliegh Brown in the fifth inning giving North a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Ironmen tied up the contest in the seventh inning to send the game into extra innings.
Cherryville scored in the top of the 10th to give them a 2-1 lead. But the Knights quickly answered in bottom half of the inning.
Calah Bynum singled scoring Lindsey Smith to deadlock the contest at 2-2.
Cherryville pushed across a run in the top of the 12th to take a 3-2 lead. But the Lady Knights were unable to answer in the bottom half of the inning.
Lady Knights head coach Rick Brown believed the marathon of a ballgame never should have been.
â€œâ€œWe should have finished it in seven innings, it never should have gone into extra innings,â€ he said.
An area Brownâ€™s team has worked on is scoring girls when theyâ€™re in scoring position. The Lady Knights left 15 in scoring position against the Ironmen.
â€œItâ€™s something weâ€™ve been working on. Trying to get the base hits when we have girls in scoring position. Thatâ€™s hurt us in every game that weâ€™ve lost this year, we can get them on, but we just canâ€™t get them in,â€ he said.
The leading hitter for the Lady Knights was Jenna Torbert with two basehits. Brown, Harkey and Bynum all hit safely for North Lincoln.
Nicole Baxter, the Lady Knights ace, pitched all 12 innings, scattering five hits, while striking out 13 batters.
Brown was impressed with her effort.
â€œShe works pretty hard. Winning is important to her. She was a little upset, but the loss was not her fault. It basically came down to not getting the runs we needed,â€ he said.
The loss drops the Lady Knights to 13-4 overall, more importantly the loss drops them to third in the Southern Foothills with a 7-3 mark.
Brown reiterated his belief that the loss could have been avoided.
â€œWe didnâ€™t score when we had opportunities. Of the four losses weâ€™ve had. This one definitely hit us the hardest, because this is one we should have had and just didnâ€™t put it away,â€ he said.
Brown was able to extract a positive from the tough loss.
â€œCherryville is the top team in the conference, but Iâ€™m hoping that because we played with them that this will give my girls the confidence to step it up another notch,â€ he said.
The Lady Knights will have that opportunity next hosting Hickory High on Thursday.by John Mark Brooks