The Harlan Lady Dragons held off visiting Knox Central 4-3 in a 13th Region thriller on Wednesday.
Down by two runs, Knox Central had runners on second and third with no outs in the final inning, but Madison Noe worked herself out of the jam. The sophomore pitcher caught an infield fly for the first out of the inning. She then struck out the ensuing better for the second out. Knox’s Morgan Gambrel drove in Allison Swafford on the next at-bat. Shortstop Torri Mitchell’s throw was off-target to first base on the play, but Anna Karst chased down the ball and threw to home plate in time for Kaitlyn Jenkins to tag Ashley Jones for the final out.
“It’s good to win a close game. When it gets close you can tighten up. In our case, a lot of the close ones have went against us,” said Harlan coach Scott Lewis.
Harlan opened the scoring with one run in the first inning.
Karst reached base on a single. She advanced to second on a passed ball and scored when Heather Holland grounded out.
Knox Central tied the game at one with a run in the fourth inning, but Harlan answered with one run in the fifth.
Jourdan Ledford led off the inning with a triple to center field. Two batters later, Jenkins doubled to left field to drive in Ledford.
The Lady Panthers pulled even with another run in the sixth inning. However, the Lady Dragons responded once again. This time Harlan sent two players across the plate in the bottom of the sixth.
Shanae Thomas started the offense with a single. Holland put two runners in scoring position with a double. Mitchell followed with a groundout that allowed Thomas to score. Holland came home when Madison Brewer reached on an error to the shortstop to make it 4-2.
Ledford tripled to lead the Harlan offense. Holland and Jenkins each recorded a double, while Karst, Thomas and Kaylee McNiel each added a single.
Noe recorded five strikeouts, while allowing five hits in the complete-game victory.
Harlan (11-11) returns to action Friday at home against Jackson County. Knox Central will travel to Jackson County today.
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Knox Central 000 101 1 — 3 5 1
Harlan 100 012 x — 4 6 2
Swafford and Campbell; Noe and Jenkins. WP — Noe. LP — Swafford.