BELFRY — Pikeville was sitting with a comfortable lead, until Belfry came storming back.
After the dust settled, Pikeville pulled out an 8-7 win over the Lady Pirates Tuesday evening.
Pikeville’s offense got going in the top of the first inning. Kelcie Adams reached on an infield single. With one out, Emily Ford was hit-by-a-pitch.
With two on, Ginna Jones singled to load the bases. Olivia Hall followed with an RBI single to score the game’s first run.
Isabelle Rose hit a ground out RBI to push Pikeville’s lead to 2-0.
Adams doubled in the top of the second for Pikeville, but the Lady Panthers were unable to get her across the plate.
In the top of the third with one out, Jones blasted a solo home run to left-center field to push Pikeville’s lead to 3-0.
The Lady Panthers weren’t finished in the inning, though. With two outs, Rose single and Shanna Ray followed with an RBI single as the lead grew to 4-0.
Belfry’s offense woke up in the bottom of the third inning.
Belfry’s Kylee Phillips reached on an infield singled to start things off. It was the Lady Pirates’ first hit of the game.
Sydney Stafford followed with a single of her own to put two runners on. With one out, Linzee Phillips came up with an RBI single. With runners on first and third, Phillips stole second, the runner at home scored as the throw went to second. On the throw back to the plate, Phillips headed towards third, she was called safe as the throw reached third on a bang-bang play.
The Lady Pirates cut the lead to 4-2. Brianna Tello followed with an RBI bunt single as the lead was cut to 4-3.
Belfry’s Cameron Childers was hit-by-pitch to put two runners on. Molly Fahm reached on an error, but two more runs scored on the play as Belfry jumped ahead of Pikeville 5-4.
The Lady Panthers answered in the top of the fourth inning. Molly Coleman reached on an error. After a nice sacrifice bunt from Cassidy Slater, Emily Ford followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 5-5.
Belfry jumped back in from in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Phillips singled to get things going. She then stole second base. Tello walked to put two runners on. With runners on first and third, Childers hit a shallow pop fly ball. Pikeville made the catch, but Phillips tagged up at third and headed home. She slid into home safely on the play and Tello was heading to third. The throw to third got away from Pikeville third baseman Larren Collins and that allowed Tello to score to push the lead to 7-5.
In the top of the sixth inning, Pikeville made its final charge of the game.
Adams hit a leadoff single to get things going. Slater laid down another excellent sacrifice bunt to get Adams into scoring position. Ford grounded out, but Adams advanced to third on the play. Jones was hit-by-a-pitch to put two runners on.
With two outs, Hall ripped two-RBI single to score both runners and tie things up at 7-7.
Rose was hit-by-a-pitch to keep the inning going. Ray followed with an RBI single as Pikeville held an 8-7 lead heading into the seventh and final inning of play.
Pikeville threatened to score again in the seventh, but Belfry’s defense came up big. With one out, Adams hit a shot to third base. Belfry shortstop Phillips made a great back handed stop on the hit, but had no chance to throw Adams out. She did prevent Adams from getting extra bases on the hit.
Adams finished the game four for five with a double, two stolen bases and two runs scored.
Pikeville couldn’t find a way to score Adams, though as the Lady Pirate defense came up big.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ford got two quick outs for the Lady Panthers.
Natalie Fite followed with a single, but that was the only damage done as Pikeville held on for the win.
Ford picked up the win on the mound for the Lady Panthers. She threw all seven innings and gave up seven runs (three earned) on four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Belfry’s Fahm suffered the loss on the mound. She threw all seven innings and gave up eight runs (seven earned) on 13 hits with nine strikeouts and a walk.
Pikeville (24-10) is scheduled to finish the regular season Thursday evening at home as the Lady Panthers host Knott Central at 6:30 p.m.
Belfry (16-14) is scheduled to visit Paintsville at 6:00 p.m. in the regular season finale.
The Lady Pirates earned the No. 1 seed in the 60th District Tournament and will host the winner of the Pike Central/Phelps game in the championship next Wednesday.