The Paradise Lady Panthers took a lead in the top of the eighth inning against the District 10-2A champion Godley Lady Wildcats.
But they couldn’t hold on as Godley squeezed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth – the last after a dropped third strike – to score the 6-5 win in the Class 2A Region II bi-district game at Weatherford College Thursday.
The loss ended the Lady Panthers’ season at 17-11. Paradise beat Peaster twice – in the regular finale and one-game playoff – to make the postseason as the fourth seed out of 9-2A.
“It was a crazy ending,” said Paradise coach Karin Essig. “I am so, so proud of the way my kids fight when the pressure is on them. We had three must-win games. Two of them, they were victorious, and the third went an extra inning. My kids believe in each other and the team. They fight until it’s over.”
Playing the top-seeded Lady Wildcats, Paradise did not back down. The Lady Panthers scored a pair of runs in the first after singles by Allie Rutledge and Jett Preather, who both came around to score.
After Godley scored three in the bottom of the first, Paradise came right back and scored two in the top of the second to take a 4-3 lead. Bailey Higgins worked a walk and scored. Rutledge garnered her second hit and scored on an error. She went 2-for-5, scoring two runs.
Godley tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the fourth and it remained tied until the top of the eighth. Paradise took a 5-4 lead after Darla Walterscheid was hit by a pitch and then stole second. She scored on a Godley error.
In the bottom of the eighth, an error and a single put two runners on for Godley. The two runners came around to score on a sacrifice bunt and dropped third strike.
Paradise pitcher Reagan Taylor limited Godley to six runs – three earned – on nine hits. She struck out nine and walked five.