Extra effort of OC is good

Extra effort of OC is good
Extra effort of OC is good

Obion Central’s Mandi McDaniel prepares to lay down a bunt on Monday.
DYERSBURG — A little extra work never hurt anybody.
It certainly didn’t bother Obion Central.
It took three additional frames for the Lady Rebels to knock reigning league champion and perennial Class 2A powerhouse Covington from the District 13AA Tournament, winning a 3-1 10-inning thriller Monday.
The victory — a school-record 23rd this spring — kept alive OC’s season in the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tourney.
Central (23-12-1) will play Crockett County, a 5-2 winner over Milan Monday, in another do-or-die contest today at 5 p.m.
A youthful Lady Rebel squad — which put eight players who were either freshmen or sophomores on the field at one time or another Monday — was unfazed by the task of going toe-to-toe with the more heralded Lady Chargers Monday.
In fact, OC was at its best at crunch time, pushing across both the tie-breaking and insurance run in the 10th inning when execution was at a premium.
“We pitched and played in the field about as well as we could — especially when it counted most in the extra innings,” Lady Rebel head coach Tommy Victory said afterward. “Defensively, we had only one error, and Macy (Allison) threw probably the best she’s thrown all season. We didn’t scald the ball, but we got a couple of timely hits when we needed them, and then we shut the door in the bottom of the tenth.
“I think this was just part of the growing up process for a young team and I hope we’ll look back at it one day as that.”
Tied at 1-all after Obion Central scored in the second and Covington in the third, the International Rule — where the offensive team places a runner at second to begin the inning — was put into play.
Emily Pickard was put at second base and immediately took third on a passed ball. She then raced home with the tie-breaking run when Mandi McDaniel struck out, but reached base and ultimately ended up on second on a passed ball.
McDaniel took third on another passed ball and dashed home with a critical insurance run when Payton Robertson lofted a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give Central its final advantage.
Allison (11-7) then slammed the door on any thoughts of a rally, snagging a line drive on the mound and holding a Lady Charger at third for the second out of the bottom of the 10th, then recording her eighth strikeout of the contest to end the game.
Her final pitching line read: Eight strikeouts, three walks and five hits allowed.
Madi Bell had two of Central’s six hits, with Robertson, Alex Wilson, Kayla Bramlett and Meaghen Strayhorn all also collecting singles.
Wilson had likely the defensive play of the day for OC in the seventh, turning in a gem at shortstop.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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