With their backs against the wall and their season on the brink, the Apalachee High School Wildcats answered the bell on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
The Wildcats rallied for a 9-4 win in game two of an opening-round best-of-three GHSA Class AAAAAA playoff series against visiting Harrison High School. S’Nyiah Stinson and Emily Hodnett combined to throw a six-hitter.
Hodnett, working in relief, recorded seven strikeouts. The junior standout also collected three hits to help pace the offensive attack in game two. Stinson and Madyson Coe also had two hits to help extend the Wildcats’ season.
Stinson, Coe and Morgan Reynolds all drove in two runs each.
The two teams were scheduled to meet Wednesday, Oct. 9, at 6 p.m. in a third and deciding contest.
“We have to find ways to do the little things right in order to keep playing,” AHS coach Allan Bailey said of game three. “We have to do whatever it takes to win whether it’s laying down a bunt or making a defensive play when we need it.”
After falling 7-3 in game one, the Wildcats (16-9-1) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third before adding two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth. AHS scored its final run in the top of the sixth inning.
Harrison (16-11) scored its runs in game two on a pair of two-run homers, one in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Doubles by Hodnett and Stinson helped the Wildcats to a two-out rally in the top of the third to start the scoring in game two. Coe had a two-run double in the fourth inning and Reynolds had a key two-run triple in the fifth.
Bailey said he was proud of how his team rebounded after a disappointing loss in game one of the series Tuesday afternoon. Harrison took advantage of a seven-run top of the fourth inning to give itself enough of a cushion to take the win.
“We did a great job of taking the momentum of the series back,” Bailey said. “Often times the second game of a series goes a long way to determining the outcome. You never know you are going to react after having the first game go against you.”
Hodnett worked the first four innings of game one with six strikeouts. While she allowed seven runs only one was earned.
Coe finished game one 2-for-4 with an RBI and Hodnett was 3-for-3 at the plate with a run and RBI. Reynolds and Destiny Sexton were both 1-for-3 while Alexis Griffith was 2-for-3 with a run.
Kensley Kraus was 2-for-3 in game one with a run and RBI.
The Wildcats led 1-0 after three innings in the series opener before the Lady Hoyas had their big inning. AHS tried to chip away at the lead, scoring a run in the bottom of the fourth on a Hodnett homer and another in the bottom of the seventh but could not get any closer.
Reynolds made several strong defensive plays at second base for the Wildcats on Tuesday while Coe had another solid performance behind the plate.