DEKALB, Texas — DeKalb clinched a spot in the area playoffs with a thrilling 9-8 victory over Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill in a Class 3A, bi-district playoff softball game on Friday at Lady Bears Field.
"My kids dug deep and they did what I asked them to do," Lady Bears head coach Kaci Price said. "I'm speechless. We have been preaching to them about how no one is going to outwork us and tonight no one outworked us."
Bailey Barger came through in the clutch with a 2-out single to left to score Anijah Gray for the winning run in the seventh inning. Gray earned the win, tossed a complete game, gave up eight runs on 11 hits, struck out 12, walked four and hit three batters.
"Anijah pitched 12 innings tonight," Price said. "She had done a lot, and it's been a long week. She needed that to boost her confidence, and we needed that as a team. Anijah did her job, and I'm proud of her."
Lady Devils starting pitcher Presley Applegate earned the win in Game 2, tossed a complete game, struck out 13 and allowed a run on five hits to lead Chapel Hill to a 9-1 win, which forced a decisive Game 3.
DeKalb 9, Chapel Hill 8
Gray slapped an RBI single to right field with two outs in the seventh to knot the game at 8-all. Sam Prince, who walked and stole second, came around to score on the hit. Barger singled to left and the fielder committed an error as Gray touched the dish for the comeback win.
"Bailey put her head on the pitch, she saw it and she smashed that sucker. She did a great job. I am proud of all my kids; that was an army. I preach to the kids about togetherness, and we were together tonight."
Coriana Fullbright hammered a 2-run shot over the right-center field fence to bridge the gap for the Bears, 8-6, in the bottom of the fifth.
DeKalb inched closer when it strung together a trio of singles in the sixth, and Emily Barrett's infield single drove in a run to make it 8-7.
Bailey Barger led off the Bears' first with a Texas Leaguer single to left center. Makaila Daniels sent a hard-hit ball into right field for an RBI double. Fullbright's double to right field scored Daniels to knot the game at 2-all.
Chapel Hill put up a pair of runs on three hits in the third to take a 4-2 lead going into the bottom part of the inning.
Barger doubled to shallow right center and moved up to third on a wild pitch for DeKalb in the third. Daniels slapped an RBI single on a laser shot to the third baseman. Daniels scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 4-all going into the fifth.
Chapel Hill 9, DeKalb 1
Chapel Hill took a 7-0 lead after the second inning after plating seven runs on three hits and three costly DeKalb errors.
Fullbright laced in an RBI single to right center for the Bears' first run of the game in the fourth inning. Madison Taylor, who singled past the third baseman, scored on the hit to inch DeKalb closer, 7-1.
The Devils put up an insurance in the fifth and then in the sixth to take control, 9-1. Gray had a single up the middle for the Bears in the fifth, and teammate Barrett singled to right field in the seventh.
Hanna Mullins smacked a double to right center for the Bears with an out in the first frame. Mullins moved up to third on a passed ball but was left stranded after two flyouts.
Gray absorbed the loss, threw four innings, allowed seven runs on five hits, struck out three, walked two and hit two batters.