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For five innings the softball game played Friday evening between the Chiefland Indians and the Williston Red Devils was all it had been built up to be. After all, both teams were locked up in a three-way tie for the district lead with P.K. Yonge after the Red Devils had beaten Chiefland earlier in the season, P.K. Yonge beat Williston, and the Indians beat the Blue Wave in the first round of district games.
Williston took a 1-0 first-inning lead, but Chiefland loaded the bases in the top of the second. Amy Biehl drilled a three-run triple to put the Indians on top 3-1.
The Red Devils then tied the game in the bottom of the second inning as Dayna Hunn and Laurrin Howard collected RBI singles to tie the game at 3-3. The Indians answered in the top of the third as Taylore Fuller slammed a one out double and scored on Shelbie Hastings' single to right.
Williston trailed 4-3 going to the fourth when Chiefland's pitching change brought Amber Richardson to the mound. As much as the Devils had suffered with Indian starter Brittany Davis' off-speed pitching, they loved Richardson's heat. Crissy Rawls walked and scored on Hunn's single.
After five innings of play the game was deadlocked at 4-4, before the Red Devils scored 4 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take an 8-4 lead. Two runs were earned as Rawls scored Taylor Acree on a well-hit triple down the third base line. Then Rawls scored as Howard slammed a base hit.
With two outs and two runners on base, a Chiefland error let two more runs score, giving the Red Devils a four-run inning and the 8-4 lead.
“We played a good ball game for five innings, but you have to play the entire game,” said Indians' Coach Wayne Weatherford following the game.
With just three outs remaining and trailing by four, the Indians came to bat in the top of the seventh. Chiefland was not ready to lie down and quit, however. After Red Devil pitcher Tori Stamper recorded her seventh strikeout of the game, Chiefland's Davis cracked a solid double to the gap in left center field. This was followed by a triple from Taylore Fuller, who collected her fourth hit in four trips to the plate. The score was now 8-5 with one out. Fuller then scored on a passed ball to make it an 8-6 ball game.
Stamper then retired the next two batters for the 8-6 win and at least a tie for the district lead.
When asked after the game what he felt was the deciding factor in this well played ball game by both teams, Red Devil Head Coach Robert Patterson said “No. 6” - his sophomore pitcher Tori Stamper. “She was on tonight when she had to be, and the entire team was up for this game. We had some key solid hits and now we have at least a tie for the district lead. We will be looking forward to meeting P.K. Yonge again.”
Coach Weatherford was saddened by the loss but encouraged by his team's overall performance on the season.
“I believe in our girls,” he said.
“I think we can get it done. I'm not giving up on them, and they're not giving up.”
Chiefland girls are 7-2 on the season, their only losses coming at the hands of Williston. The Lady Indians host district opponent Dixie County tonight at 6 p.m.