The Commerce softball team battled back to keep its season alive, beating Lanier County 10-2 to spilt a Monday doubleheader in the Elite Eight. The Tigers lost the opener 5-0.
The teams will play a decisive Game 3 Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Lanier County. The winner advances to the Final Four in Columbus.
In the Game 2 win, the visiting Tigers (20-11-1) got a home run from Carson Hobbs, while both Anna Taylor and Gabbie Deaton went 3-for-3 as Commerce avoided elimination in convincing fashion. Hobbs and Taylor both drove in three runs. The Tigers finished with 10 hits off Lanier County’s Jaden Benefield, who shut out Commerce in Game 1.
Commerce’s Rachel Morgan threw four innings in Game 2, allowing a hit and an earned run while walking five batters and striking out one. Lexi Darnell threw one inning, allowing two hits and an earned run while walking no batters and striking out two.
Commerce broke a 2-1 game open with four runs in the second inning — highlighted by a two-run homer from Hobbs — and three more in the fourth inning. A fifth-inning score gave the Tigers an eight-run lead, bringing the run rule into effect.
With the victory, the Tigers reached the 20-win mark for the fourth-straight year.
The offense was much more scarce in the first game as Commerce was limited to just two hits.
With the Tiger bats in check, Lanier County scored one run in the first inning and two runs each in the third and sixth innings in picking up the win.
Hobbs threw five innings and gave up four runs, though only one was earned.