“We hit the ball pretty well and played pretty solid defensively,” Bolivar coach Jay Halbrook said. “Branson is a very good team, but we were able to make some big defensive plays when we needed them.”
In the top of the first inning, Bolivar took a 2-0 lead when pitcher Tristia Patton hit a double to deep centerfield.
In the bottom of the second, Branson’s centerfielder, Rachel Dickinson hit a triple to the right field fence. An RBI by Emily Calovich cut the Lady Liberators lead to one.
In the bottom of the third, Lady Pirate Ashley Forrest got hit by a pitch and took first. A bunt by Bri Presley and a fielder’s choice play moved Forrest to third. Then Tino Stevens hit an RBI single to tie the score a two.
Branson’s Hannah Johnson walked Haley Rauch to start the fifth inning. Taylor Sechler and Jaelyn Halbrook singled to load the bases. Patton hit an RBI single over shortstop Calovich’s head giving Bolivar a 3-2 lead.
“Hannah had some good pitches and we needed to make a few plays,” Branson coach Mary Arnold said. “I thought it was an offensive game tonight and we swung at pitches we shouldn’t have and let stuff go by we should have.”
Lady Liberator Anna Pitts scores in the top of the sixth on a single by Sechler, who steals second on the next pitch. Sechler scores on an error by the second baseman Forrest.
The bottom of Branson’s lineup tries to rally in the bottom of the seventh with two singles, but with no help from the top of the lineup Bolivar wins 5-2.
Bolivar’s Patton allowed two runs on six hits. She walked one and struck out four.
Branson’s Johnson allowed five runs on seven hits. She walked one and struck out eight.
Bolivar plays the winner of the Logan-Rogersville, Reed Springs game October 4, in the semi-final game of the Class 3 District 11 tournament at Rogersville.
Halbrook said, “We have a tough district, but we feel like if we come out and we play to our ability then we have a good chance of winning the tournament.”
Branson plays Glendale October 3, in their first game of the Class 4 District 11 tournament at Branson.
Bolivar 5, Branson 2
Bolivar 2 0 0 0 1 2 0—5
Branson 0 1 1 0 0 0 0—2
Hits—Bolivar 7, Branson 6
Errors—Bolivar 0, Branson 2