By Chris Yow
MURFREESBORO — Clinging to a one-run lead with two outs in the sixth inning, Summit plated a pair of insurance runs and Elena Escobar then shut down three Daniel Boone hitters to give the Spartan women a 5-2 win Wednesday in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament.
Summit coach Jenny Stevenson sent two pinch-hitters to the plate, with both drawing walks to load the bases for leadoff hitter Abby O’Reilly.
“She’s been clutch all year long. She has been able to get base hits when we needed them,” Stevenson said. “I told her to be confident in herself and do what she knows she can do.”
O’Reilly delivered a two-RBI single to give her team and Escobar a little cushion heading into the final inning.
Summit scored with small ball early, turning a walk into a runner on third base with a sacrifice bunt. Another sacrifice bunt allowed a run to cross in the second. The Spartans added a pair in the third with a single from Aldyn Mathis.
Stevenson went with Lily Kate Richards in the circle to start the game, and she delivered exactly what her coach expected, going 4 1/3 innings with six strikeouts. After allowing a pair of baserunners, however, Stevenson elected to bring on Escobar in relief, and she allowed the two runners credited to Richards to score on base hits.
Another runner was near home plate following the second single of the inning when a rundown at first base ended due to the runner leaving the base path, ending the inning as well.
Escobar finished the game, going 2 2/3 innings and giving up two hits while striking out seven. Richards earned the win.
Summit will now play Dyer County, who upset Siegel in the first round, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.