HAMLER — Patrick Henry fought its way into the win column in dramatic fashion Monday.
Baylor McGraw and Kyleigh Breece delivered RBI singles to tie and win the game, respectively, for the Lady Patriots, who scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to down Hicksville 8-7 via walk-off Monday in non-league play.
“It was definitely rough the first few games, but other than that, I feel like we worked together way better today,” McGraw said of getting their first win. “That’s what made us come back. We just put both defense and offense together, which helped a lot.”
“I’m kind of glad that we didn’t get down on ourselves early,” Breece said. “We let them score a couple early runs, came back and just kept on going.”
Patrick Henry (1-3) sent six batters to the plate in the seventh inning.
Grace Haas drew a leadoff walk and quickly stole second base.
Ella Meyer grounded a 2-2 pitch to Hicksville shortstop Izzie Smith, who threw well high of first base. After retrieving the ball in foul territory, Hicksville first baseman Sydney Bland errantly threw it by the pitcher and into Patrick Henry’s dugout, allowing Haas to score from third and Meyer to advance to third in all the chaos.
McGraw stepped up to bat, took two pitches out of the zone, and ripped the game-tying RBI single down the third-base line.
“It was definitely scary because I didn’t bat very well my first few times,” McGraw said. “I listened to coach (Tracy Greene’s) directions and I hit the ball, which helped the team and we kept the energy up off of that.”
Two batters later, McGraw went first-to-third on Lexi Holloway’s single to right field, prompting Hicksville to go to Bland at pitcher to face Breece — the No. 9 hitter.
Breece blooped the first pitch she saw the opposite way just inside the foul line to score McGraw as the winning run.
“Her first pitch, it was kind of on the outside, kind of fast, so I just timed it up just right and hopefully get a nice little pop fly or a liner out to score (Baylor),” Breece said.
“I was so excited; I just wanted to scream,” McGraw said with a laugh. “I wanted to scream at Kyleigh. It was that feeling that we finally won a game.”
Greene said her team had so many opportunities in the game to give up — and didn’t.
The Lady Patriots trailed 3-0 after two innings early, battled back to take a 4-3 lead after three innings, but fell behind 7-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
“These girls, I was proud of them tonight; they fought,” Greene said. “They came back and what a way to finish a game.
“They kept giving me a hard time, telling me I didn’t look nervous and told them, ‘You guys already tied it up. That’s the nervous part,’” Greene added. “I’m not nervous when we had one out. We had plenty of chance then.”
Also for PH, Kayla Kruse had two RBI singles and Lexi Holloway, the No. 8 hitter, scorched a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the second inning.
Meyer had an RBI triple in the bottom of third to give the Lady Patriots their first lead at 4-3.
“A lot of unexpected (hits), players who are lower down in the lineup are coming through today,” Greene said. “We expect the top of the lineup to do that. When we can get the bottom of the lineup to do that, we’ll win some more games.”
Ella Meyer earned the win in the circle.
Hicksville dropped to 0-3.
Patrick Henry hosts North Baltimore today.