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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Late surge lifts ICC over Lady Panthers

  • Down by one with only three outs remaining, Izard County Consolidated scored two runs in the seventh inning to rally for a 3-2 victory over Heber Springs on Monday in a nonconference game at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

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  • Down by one with only three outs remaining, Izard County Consolidated scored two runs in the seventh inning to rally for a 3-2 victory over Heber Springs on Monday in a nonconference game at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.
    Heber starting pitcher McKenzie Cresswell cruised through the first inning with a strikeout, fly-out to Skye Miller in left field and a pop-out to shortstop Peyton Vineyard.
    But, ICC left-handed pitcher also retired the side in order in the bottom half, retiring Miller on a bunt, Alexis Ingram on a line-out to Jordan Sherrell at second and Cresswell on a ground ball to Hailey Hall at third.
    With one out in the second, ICC picked up its first hit when Stephanie Shrable roped a double to deep left field but Cresswell got Kenzie Brewer on a line-out before Sherrell drew a walk. After both runners moved into scoring position, Cresswell left them stranded with a strikeout.
    Taylor sat down the Lady Panthers in order in the bottom of the second and ICC snatched the lead in the third as Taylor Booth led off with a single, stole second and eventually scored when Taylor helped her cause with two-out, RBI double that dropped just fair down the left field line.
    Cresswell retired Hall on a groundball to Vineyard at shortstop, leaving Taylor stranded at third and ICC’s lead at 1-0 going into the bottom half.
    Heber tied the game with one run on two hits in the third as Sam Temple drilled a double to right center to lead off the inning and she moved to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Makenzie Martin dropped an RBI sacrifice bunt that scored Temple, who beat the Lady Cougars flip to home plate as Martin reached first safely.
    Miller beat out a bunt single to reignite the inning but Taylor got Ingram on a line-out to Shrable at shortstop, then ICC’s left-handed pitcher recorded a strikeout, leaving runners stranded at first and second.
    Bridget Muse relieved Cresswell in the fourth and pitched around a leadoff single by Shrable, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. But, Muse countered with a strikeout and retired Angle Englehardt on a cue ball in front of the mound.
    Vineyard smashed what appeared to be a single to start the bottom of the fourth but ICC right fielder Katie Campbell quickly scooped the ball and threw to first base for an unusual force out. Taylor then retired Hannah Mangum on a groundball to first base and Skylar Johnson on a pop-out to Hall at third.
    In the top of the fifth, Muse issued a leadoff walk to Booth, who stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice-bunt by Campbell. Following a walk to Makayla Gross, Muse notched a strikeout and got Hall on a grounder to Sarah Peeler at third, leaving two runners stranded in scoring position.
    Page 2 of 2 - Pinch-hitter Madi Fires tried to stir up a two-out rally in the bottom half as she reached on a bunt single but was caught stealing second by Gross, ICC’s catcher, on what seemed to be a makeup call.
    Still tied at one, Courtney Rackley relieved Muse to start the sixth and gave up a leadoff single to Shrable, who sent a sharp grounder over the third base bag. But, Mangum gunned down Shrable trying to steal second and Rackley retired the next two batters on groundouts.
    Heber took its first lead in the bottom of the sixth as Miller beat out a grounder to shortstop for an infield single and she swiped second before Ingram’s sacrifice-bunt advanced Miller to third.
    On a wild play, Heber took the lead as Muse laid down a bunt that was fielded by Hall, who caught Miller between third and home. As ICC tagged out Miller, Muse broke for second, which caused a throwing error, allowing Muse to come all the way around for a run. Taylor got out of the inning when Vineyaerd bounced back to the mound.
    Needing three outs to seal the victory, ICC rallied as Englehardt sliced a single down the right field line and moved to second on a sacrifice-bunt by Booth. Campbell pushed a single to the right side, which Courtney Verser knocked down to temporarily save a run.
    But, with runners at the corners, Gross lifted an RBI, sacrifice-fly to right field that scored Englehardt as the Lady Cougars tied the game and then took the lead on a two-out, RBI single from Taylor, whose looping hit to centerfield plated Campbell.
    Rackley got out of the inning when Hall sharply grounded out to Peeler at third but Heber couldn’t bounce back in the bottom of the seventh. After Taylor struck out the first two batters, Temple beat out a grounder to the left side with great hustle for an infield single.
    Temple stole second and Verser walked, keeping the Lady Panthers alive but Taylor got Fires on a dribbler back to the mound as ICC escaped with a 3-2 victory.
    Heber returned to 2-4A conference action on Tuesday, falling to Lonoke 3-0, and the Lady Panthers welcomed Newport for a home game on Thursday.
     After hosting an invitational tournament this weekend, beginning with a 9 a.m. game on Saturday against Watson Chapel, the Lady Panthers host Rose Bud on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

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