Verden was pushed to the limit by a scrappy Am-Po team in the championship game of the Grady County slow-pitch softball tournament Monday.

But the Lady Tiger’s played error-free defense and their offense got some late runs to put the host Lady Panthers away.

Verden’s Kory Patterson got things off to a quick start with a two-out single. Carly Skinner followed her with an RBI double to give the Lady Tigers a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

Am-Po was held in check until the fourth inning when Laci Weger doubled and came around to score on a single by Chandra Perry.

But VHS answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Skinner reached on an error to start the inning. She scored on a single by Shay Goodson. Brittany Venable singled to bring Goodson across the plate for a 3-1 Lady Tiger lead.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the sixth when Goodson singled and Falecia Sanders slapped a line drive down the right field line for a two-run inside the park home run.

Verden pitcher Shelby Ortiz retired Am-Po in order in the seventh to seal the win.

Kerry Franklin had two of the Lady Panthers’ seven hits in the game.

Goodson led the Lady Tigers with two hits, an RBI and two runs scored.

Dionna Glass also singled twice for Verden.



HOW THEY GOT THERE…

GAME 1: VERDEN 14, AM-PO 2 (3 INN)

The Tigers scored five runs on four hits in the first inning then another eight on five hits and five Panther errors in the second to set the table for a three-inning run rule.

Catcher Falecia Sanders led the Verden offense with a two-run home run and a two-run single. Shortstop Carly Skinner was a perfect three-for-three and drove in two runs and first baseman Keyla Glass pushed in two more runs with a single. Rover Lindsey Roberts reached all three times on two hits and a walk and scored once.

Center fielder Brittany Loggins and shortstop Nikki Sprowls each had an RBI single for the two Am-Po runs.

GAME 2: MINCO 9, ALEX 4

Minco scored five runs in the top of the sixth to break a 4-4 tie and advance. Alex center fielder Mattie Hiten drove in a run in the second but first baseman Brittany Vickers' single and shortstop Whitnie Hefner's double put Minco up 2-1.

Alex answered for three in the home third on shortstop Amber Shaw's RBI single and two on an error on first baseman Beth Anne Underwood's grounder but Minco scored seven unanswered runs for the win.

Bulldog rover Amanda Young drove in a run in the fourth and left fielder Kelsey Huber led off the fifth with a solo home run to tie it at four. Minco scored five more in the sixth on RBI singles by right fielder Miriam McFarland, Huber, pitcher Summer Eason and a two-run Hefner single.

GAME 3: VERDEN 5, NINNEKAH 0

Verden jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead and scratched out three more runs as they shut Ninnekah out. Sanders did it again in the first inning with a bases-loaded double for two runs. She also led off the sixth with a triple to right but was left stranded with three straight comebackers to Owl pitcher Brandi Rayburn.

Tiger third baseman Dionna Glass singled in a run in the third and left fielder Kory Patterson had an RBI single and an RBI double to close it out.

Verden collected twelve hits and held Ninnekah to six scattered hits.

GAME 4: AM-PO 4, ALEX 2

Alex was the first team eliminated with a 4-2 loss to the host Panthers. Am-Po scored all four runs in the home third on three hits and two Longhorn errors.

Left fielder Kayla Franklin's bases-loaded triple cleaned the bags and she scored on rover Megan McDaniel's single for the fourth run.

Am-Po committed four errors in the Alex sixth to get the Longhorns on the scoreboard. Shaw scored on a bad throw on Underwood's grounder then Underwood scored when left fielder Summer Fagan's fly to right was dropped.

GAME 5: AM-PO 8, NINNEKAH 6

The Panthers went right back out on the field and beat Ninnekah 8-6, eliminating the Owls and putting them into the third-place game against the loser of Game 6, the final winner's bracket game.

Am-Po took an early 6-0 lead with two runs in the top of the second and four in the third.

Pitcher Hailey Henderson scored on Franklin's single after leading off with a triple then Franklin scored on an error on first baseman Chandra Perry's ground out.

Third baseman Laci Weger smacked a three-run home run in the third then Henderson doubled and scored on Franklin's single.

Rayburn's triple scored shortstop Melanie Chaney in the Ninnekah fourth then she scored on center fielder Annesha Kirk's single to make it 6-2 going into the fifth.

Perry's infield groundout with runners on second and third scored Weger then Franklin scored on an error on McDaniel's grounder.

Ninnekah center fielder Sara Cox led off the home fifth with a triple and scored on an error on first baseman Lacey Shook's grounder. Back-to-back doubles by Chaney and Rayburn got the Owls within two but the Panther lead stood up.

GAME 6: VERDEN 6, MINCO 1

Verden took the winner's bracket final and put themselves in the driver's seat with a 6-1 win over the Bulldogs.

The Tigers took a 3-0 lead on an RBI single by Skinner in the first and a two-run error on Keyla Glass's ground ball to short in the second. Minco rover Valarie Paul singled and scored on Eason's third-inning single to get the Dogs on the board but Verden scored one each in the fourth, fifth and sixth for the win.

Brittany Venable's RBI single in the fourth, Keyla Glass's RBI double in the fifth and Venable's RBI double in the sixth put Verden into the championship game.

GAME 7: AM-PO 2, MINCO 0

Am-Po topped Minco 2-0 to advance to the Championship game.

Nikki Sprowls reached on an error and scored after three straight singles by Laci Weger, Hailey Henderson and Kayla Franklin.

The Lady Panthers missed an opportunity in the fifth, leaving the bases loaded. But they added an insurance run in the sixth inning.

Franklin singled and scored on an RBI single by Derrelyn Pelzer.

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