Down by two runs with a trip to the state finals at the University of Arkansas’ Bogle Park hanging in the balance, Rose Bud used dramatic seventh-inning comeback to defeat Prescott 8-7 on Saturday in the Class 3A state semifinals.

Down by two runs with a trip to the state finals at the University of Arkansas’ Bogle Park hanging in the balance, Rose Bud used dramatic seventh-inning comeback to defeat Prescott 8-7 on Saturday in the Class 3A state semifinals.
Senior Sara Sartin tied the game with a two-run double in the seventh and senior Misty Newcom delivered the game-winner, which scored Sartin as the Lady Ramblers celebrated an incredible rally ¬ their second in a span of five days.
After rallying from three runs down in the seventh inning to eventually beat Arkansas Baptist 8-7 in extra innings in the regional championship game, Rose Bud pulled off a similar feat against the Lady ’Wolves, only this time on an even bigger stage.
Rose Bud Coach Matt Porter, ironically a graduate of Prescott, was nearly speechless following the game. “This shows the character of our team, our seniors…I don’t know what to say, I really don’t. I graduated from there [Prescott], went to school with their head coach. It’s sweet but kinda bittersweet beating your hometown like that. But, I love these girls and will do anything to help them.”
Prescott took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when pitcher Shelly Glass singled and scored on a double steal with Daisha Collier, who also singled. Using bunts to create havoc with its blazing speed, Rose Bud countered with five runs on four hits in the bottom of the first.
Kali Whitlow got the inning started with a perfectly placed bunt single down third base line, then Tori Willborg slapped a single past the left side of the circle and Tori Lemieux added a bunt single, dragging the ball to a vacated hole on right side of the infield as Whitlow alertly motored around from second base for a run, giving Lemieux an RBI and tying the score at 1-all.
Dana Naquin worked a full-count walk before Sartin, who finished with a game-high 5 RBIs, slammed a bases-clearing double over third base and into the left field corner, scoring Willborg, Lemieux and Naquin as the Lady Ramblers took a 4-1 lead. Still looking for their first out, Glass helped Prescott avoid further trouble by retiring three straight, including two by strikeout.
Dana Naquin, Rose Bud’s pitcher, allowed one run in the top of the second as the Lady ’Wolves cut their deficit in half when Collier was hit-by-a-pitch with the bases loaded and two out, scoring Elizabeth Blakely, who reached on a one-out walk.
Willborg made two plays from shortstop in the second inning, including a diving stop in the hole to rob Addi Byers, aiding the Lady Ramblers in maintaining a 4-2 lead entering the bottom half.
Glass pitched around consecutive bunt singles by Marissa Holland and Whitlow in the bottom of the second, striking out the final two batters on full-count deliveries.
Both pitchers seemingly found a groove until Rose Bud added to its two-run lead in the bottom of the fourth when Whitlow drilled a one-out triple deep down the left field line, plating Newcom, who led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice-bunt from Holland.
With Rose Bud leading 5-2 entering the fifth, Prescott scratched across a run when catcher Sam Tuberville laced a double deep down the left field line and eventually scored on a two-out error.
Glass held the Lady Ramblers scoreless in the bottom of the fifth and Prescott erupted with four runs on five hits in the top of the sixth, starting when Tori Wren lined a one-out single to left field. Glass followed with a two-run home run that bounced off the top of the left field wall as the Lady ’Wolves suddenly tied the score at 5-5.
Collier then singled and scored on an RBI single to right field by Zoie Otwell as Prescott took a 6-5 lead. The Lady ’Wolves added another run when Darby Crellin singled and scored on a two-out double steal, giving Prescott a 7-5 lead entering the bottom of the sixth.
Following Prescott’s big inning, Rose Bud seemed emotionally down as Glass pitched around a two-out single by Whitlow, who reached third on a two-base throwing error but was stranded in the bottom of the sixth.
“We looked down but it falls back to the regional finals,” Porter said. “Tori Lemieux leading off the inning with more seniors behind her ready to battle and do whatever they can. This is what they have worked for the past four years and they are not going to let in slip away that easy. They are going to fight for it.”
Fight indeed. After Dana Naquin retired Prescott in order in the top of the seventh, Rose Bud began to mount its rally when Lemiuex slapped a single past third base and into left field. Dana Naquin then laid down a bunt with lot of backspin, which made the play near impossible to defend as Prescott tried the let the ball roll foul to no avail.
Both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before Sartin smashed a 2 RBI double over shortstop and into the alley in left center, scoring Lemieux and Dana Naquin as the Lady Ramblers tied the score at 7-all.
Catcher Madelyn Murphree, who made several key defensive plays throughout the tournament, sent a grounder to the left side that turned into an error as Sartin advanced to third, giving Rose Bud runners at the corners.
Glass recorded a full-count strikeout for the first out of the inning as Murphree stole second, taking away the threat of a double play. With one out, Newcom drove home Sartin for the winning run on a sharp infield single to the right side as the Lady Ramblers celebrated an 8-7 victory and spot in the state finals.
“With Misty Newcom, who won the game for us last week in the regional finals, I had no doubt she would get the job done,” said Porter. “It was great on her part as a senior who missed the first five weeks of season. She stepped up big and I just can’t ask for any more.”
While Prescott ended its season with an overall record of 23-2, Rose Bud will continue its quest for a state title on Friday at 2 p.m. at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. The Lady Ramblers (34-3) will play the Mansfield Lady Tigers, who defeated Harding Academy 3-0 in Saturday’s first semifinal game.
“We saw Mansfield. They remind me a lot of us,” said Porter. “They bunt the ball when they have too, they play great defense behind their pitcher. They are a mirror image of us almost so we are definitely going to have to be prepared. But, like I told them just now, you can’t measure their heart.”