Jackson County held off a final-inning rally from Calhoun for a 12-10 win Wednesday on the road, forcing a decisive Game 3 in its first-round state playoff series with the Yellow Jackets.
Calhoun opened the night with a 5-2 win in Game 1.
The teams will play Thursday (Oct. 10) at 5 p.m. at Calhoun with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
Sparked by an eight-run first inning, the Panthers (playing as the home team in Game 2) took a 12-6 lead into the top of the seventh inning.
But the Yellow Jackets struck for four runs and brought the go-ahead run to the plate before Panther pitcher Sara Beth Allen forced a groundout to end the game.
Abigail Allen led Jackson County (16-10-1) offensively, going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Sara Beth Allen went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBIs while Whitney Hulsey went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. Others with multi-hit games were Peri Foster (2-for-5, double) and Haley Harpis (2-for-3, double, RBI).
The Panthers pounded out 16 hits, and Calhoun committed six errors.
Jackson County trailed 2-0 after the top of the first inning in Game 2, but brought 13 batters to the plate in the bottom half of the inning and strung together seven hits en route to scoring eight runs. Sara Beth Allen had a two-run double, while Hulsey, Harpis, Abby Harrell and Madison Miller followed with RBI singles. Abigail Allen added an RBI double.
After Calhoun cut the lead to 8-4, Jordan Price had an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning. Two more runs scored that inning off a Yellow Jacket error.
Calhoun got two runs back in the top of the third inning, and Jackson County plated its final run in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI single from Husley.
In Game 1, the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 5-0 lead after four innings.
Harpis hit a solo home run to get the Panthers on the board in the top of the fifth inning, followed by a solo home run by Sara Beth Allen in the top of the sixth inning.