Walk(off) this way: Musketeers secure another late-game victory over Rams

May 1—LLOYD — Tuesday's 63rd District seeding game had just about everything a rivalry could want.

A grand slam, an ejected coach, a ton of runs, three straight innings of lockdown pitching, a few rallies, and a walk-off sacrifice fly.

All of that and more unfolded as Greenup County took down Raceland, 9-8, to secure first place in the district.

"It was the headspace and determination of the kids," Greenup County coach Jaclyn Holmes said. "We stayed in there and kept fighting."

It looked like extra innings might be necessary, but the Musketeers' Charleigh Grayson sent a rocket into deep right field for a sacrifice fly to seal the deal. Haley Hall turned a slap attempt at the plate into two bases after the hit bounced off a Rams' infielder.

Grayson sent a tailing fly ball down the right-field line but Mikenna Lacks made a diving catch for the second out. Hall tagged from second and never stopped running. She arrived safely at home before the throw could reach the plate.

The Musketeers' starting pitcher Josey Kegley had six strikeouts into the fourth inning as Raceland had managed just a pair of hits.

With an out on the board in the fourth, Reagan Mackie reached on a single and was sent to second on a sacrifice bunt from Baylee Burney.

A few pitches later, Mackie was sent home for the first run of the game on a standup double from Lily Poplin.

The Rams followed that up by bringing Poplin to the plate on the next at-bat, after a double sent into right field by Savanna Ratliff.

Now down 2-0, Greenup County landed a counterpunch.

"It's not our first rodeo at battling back," Holmes said. "Our team really believes in 'We not me' mentality."

Skyler Lawrence led off for the Musketeers in the bottom of the fourth frame with a home run over the left field fence.

After hits from Maddy Steele and Laiken Cooper, Kennedy McCoy drove a second run with a single over first base.

A hit-by-pitch loaded the bases and a walk brought in a third run before the inning's end.

Raceland jabbed back, getting Kali Vance home with an error off the bat of Burney to tie the game at 3-3 through five innings.

Rams coach Scott Adkins was tossed after a rather calm-looking discussion over a call at home plate in the fifth frame deemed enough for the umpire to eject him from the game.

"We showed a lot of perseverance," Raceland assistant coach Keith Wellman said. "They stood when we were down three runs and came back and tied the game. I'm proud of them."

Raceland broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning when a Peyton Mackie double drove in a pair of runs.

With one swing of the bat in the bottom of the sixth, Steele took Greenup County from trailing by one to leading by three with a monster grand slam.

"That was one heck of a hit," Holmes said. "It definitely turned the game around. I was so excited I think I ran out of the dugout faster than I ever have before."

The sixth-inning bomb over the left field fence paired with an RBI single from Laela Matthews gave the Musketeers a five-run inning.

The Rams entered the seventh inning with their backs against the wall and found a response.

Ratliff and Shelby Gauze hit back-to-back RBI singles which led to Greenup County making a change in the circle. Cooper came in for Kegly.

Afterward, Mackie came up and put another ball in play that brought Ratliff home to tie the game again at 8-8.

"This team never gives up," Wellman said. "We'll fight you for seven innings on every pitch. They've all grown up together and have each other's backs."

Holmes likes where her team is as postseason play approaches.

"I think we're there," Holmes said. "I think we're going to keep going from here and be successful all the way."

Wellman hopes the Rams can shrug off the loss and stay focused down the stretch.

"I think this is the best district in the region," Wellman said. "We'll have a short memory with this one. The next time we play, if we play, will be for a championship. That's our end goal."

RACELAND 000 212 3 — 8 12 1

GREENUP CO. 000 305 1 — 9 8 4

Grubb and Vance; Kegly, Cooper (7) and Steele. W — Kegly. L — Grubb. 2B — Wells (GC), Poplin (R) Ratliff (R), Mackie (R). HR — Lawrence (GC).

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