A late inning surge propelled the Ligers ahead of the Green Machine for a victory in a Jhawk Softball game on Wednesday at Youth Sports Inc.
"In the last inning, I told the girls they had one more chance to win the game, and they simply responded to their coach," Ligers coach Mike Kyriakos said.
The game started out slowly for both teams.
Ellen Kyriakos was on the mound for the Ligers. The Green Machine's first two batters struck out before Lacey Hurrelbrink got on base. Caitrin Jacobson reached first on a dropped pop fly, but a third out stranded two runners on base.
In the bottom of the inning, with Shelby Cluff as pitcher, the Ligers had similar results.
After a strikeout, Grace Bova got on base with a single and Briana Anglin followed with a single of her own.
After connecting with the ball into foul territory, Katie Jacobson used up the two pitches allowed from the coach after four balls and recorded the third out of the inning.
The top of the second saw the Green Machine go down almost 1-2-3, except for a single from Ashley Rasmussen.
The Ligers' Kyriakos, Aryn Grother and Ashley Nitchals grounded into three out to end the second without a run scored from either team.
Offensive play picked up in the top of the third with singles from Brandi Bradfield and Allie Engenhl-Tomas. Jenny Xu followed with a single of her own.
A two-base blast from Hurrelbrink drove in two runs for the Green Machine. Solid pitching from the Ligers' pitcher, Anglin, struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, the Green Machine put in first-time pitcher Lindsey Alderman, who struck out the first batter. The Ligers scored off a double from Anglin, who drove in Bova. At the end of three the Green Machine led 3-1.
In the fourth, the Green Machine added more offense with a lead-off triple from Lindsey Alderman. Shelby Cluff had a sacrifice grounder to drive in a run. And singles from Rasmussen, Brea Gatton, Libby Allen and Bradfield loaded the bases and brought two more runners home, stretching the lead to 6-1.
The Ligers mustered a lead-off hit from Jacobson to start the bottom of the fourth off right. Grother, Nitchals, Amelia Weil and Kyleigh Turner each added a single. Nitchals and Turner earned the RBIs.
Weil came out to the mound to pitch for the Ligers in the top of the fifth and did a good job taking the Green Machine down in order. Great infield work and a close tag at second base aided her effort..
Bradfield was on the mound for the Green Machine in the fifth. After allowing a single from Anglin and a double off the bat of Porter Burdett, she took the rest of the Ligers down in order to end the inning and keep the score at 6-3.
The last inning gave the Green Machine a chance to preserve their lead and the Ligers a chance to make a comeback.
Pitching would not make a difference because in the even innings of Jhawk Softball the coach pitches.
The Green Machine began the inning with a line drive hit to first for an out. Rasmussen followed up with a single.
On Gatton's single, Rasmussen was tagged out at second. Allen singled but was stranded on base when Bradfield didn't struck out.
The Ligers got hot at the right time and got their bats going in the bottom of the sixth.
Nitchals led off with a single. Turner and Bova loaded the bases before Burdett stepped up to the plate with two outs and hit a single, driving in two runs.
With two runners on base, Kyriakos connected for a two-RBI double.
A fielding error on Nitchals' second hit of the game drove in another run, and the Ligers reached the offensive limit.
With the five runs in the last inning of the game, the Ligers came back to win 8-6. The win was only the second for the Ligers this season.
"It was great to get our second win of the season," Coach Kyriakos said. "The girls decided that it was time to play, and so they started to swing the bat."
The Green Machine was disappointed to let the game slip out of their hands.
"We made a couple of mental mistakes there in the end of the game,"Green Machine coach Melvin Hurrelbrink said. "We hit the ball well today and the girls had a good overall performance."
The Ligers were able to make the plays at the right time and come out on top.
"Today our fielding improved, especially the plays at second covering the base," Coach Kyriakos said. "It was fun to get our second win of the season."
The Jhawk Softball league concluded its season Monday.