Lady Panthers rally, beat Jacksboro to clinch playoff berth

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, April 10, 2019.
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After legging out a two-out, two-run infield single to tie the game at two in the top of the seventh, Kaycee Martin stood at first base representing the go-ahead run.

Paradise’s next batter, Kendall Candioto, lofted a fly ball into left that dropped for a hit. Paradise coach Karin Essig appeared to throw up the stop sign at third, but Martin ran through it, scoring to give the Lady Panthers a 3-2 lead.

“I didn’t even look up,” Martin said. “I did not know if I was going to score. I just went for it.”

Her risk paid off.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

Paradise erased a 2-0 deficit in the final frame, rallying to beat Jacksboro 3-2 Tuesday night. The win also secured the Lady Panthers’ spot in the postseason.

“There’s no better person to be in that spot,” Essig said. “You just know [Martin] is going to go hard. I’m proud of all of them.”

Paradise trailed for most of the game, falling behind 1-0 in the first inning. The Tigerettes scored their first run after a walk, hit by pitch and error.

Paradise starter Kendall Candioto kept the Lady Panthers within striking distance, giving up only one hit through seven innings. She struck out nine and issued one walk.

Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt.

Neither of Jacksboro’s runs were earned. The Tigerettes added an insurance run in the sixth off another error to go up 2-0.

“I thought Kendall pitched lights out,” Essig said. “She did great. She came after them in the last inning and really shut them down.”

Down to their final two outs in the seventh, Cheyenne Upton was hit by a pitch to put the tying run at the plate. Dori Skogberg then reached on an error.

After Upton was picked off second, Maddi Terry singled to set up Martin’s tying hit.

“We had two outs, so I was kind of nervous,” Martin said. “But big moments are for big people. I wanted to be the big person and help my team out. I ran as fast as I could because I did not want to be the last out and lose my team the game.”

Paradise improved to 18-8 and 8-3 in District 7-3A.

The Lady Panthers are in third place in 7-3A behind Brock and Peaster with three games remaining. Paradise trails Peaster by two games and will play the Lady Greyhounds next Tuesday.

“They just believe,” Essig said. “They believe in themselves because they prepare for this.”

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