2018-03-10 / Sports

Person’s miraculous rally falls just a little short

BY KELLY SNOW
COURIER-TIMES SPORTS EDITOR


Person’s Kaity Sullivan went the distance inside the circle for the Rockets and hit a grand slam in the seventh inning of Friday’s game against Eastern Alamance. 
KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES Person’s Kaity Sullivan went the distance inside the circle for the Rockets and hit a grand slam in the seventh inning of Friday’s game against Eastern Alamance. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES The Person High School softball team came two bases shorts of pulling off a miracle.

The Rockets were teetering on being 10-run ruled, before nearly coming all the way back in an 11-10 loss to Eastern Alamance Friday at home. Person lost to Northern Durham Thursday at home and have now dropped to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the Mid- State Conference.

But the Rockets did not go quietly.

The Eagles were one out away from making it a short night, leading 11-1 with two outs in the Person half of the sixth inning.

The Rockets were about to load the bases after a Gabby Jones walk, but Eastern’s catcher tried to pick off a runner, but her throw sailed into the outfield, allowing two runs to score and extend the game into the seventh.


Person’s Jordan Perkins fires the ball to first during the early innings. 
KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES Person’s Jordan Perkins fires the ball to first during the early innings. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES And that’s when the fun started.

Person pitcher Kaity Sullivan sat down the Eagles in order in the top half of the seventh.

Freshman Hannah Duke led off the Rockets’ half of the seventh with a double in the gap in right and the bases were loaded after a walk and a botched tag on a grounder to second.

Sullivan emptied the bases in style.

The senior hammered the first pitch she saw well over the fence in center field for a grand slam, slicing the Eagles’ lead to 11-7 with still only one out. Sullivan hit a two-run blast the night before against Northern Durham.

But the rally didn’t stop there. Kailee Clayton, Payten Pearsal and Gabby Jones all reached base to load the bases again, with Kamryn Cunningham representing what minutes earlier would have been an improbable gametying run.


Person’s Kamryn Cunningham reaches second base safely on a steal attempt. 
KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES Person’s Kamryn Cunningham reaches second base safely on a steal attempt. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES Cunningham ripped a 2-2 pitch to right field scoring two more to cut the margin down to one with still just one out. The Rockets were able to get the potential game-winning run to first base, but the Eagles were able to get back-to-back strikeouts to narrowly escape with a one-run victory.

Person’s Anna Harris was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. The Rockets’ senior was a part of a wild sequence after a leadoff double in the fourth inning. Two batters later, Clayton dropped down a nice bunt down the third baseline and appeared to easily beat the throw to first by at least two steps. The field umpire who was standing in shallow left field called Clayton out, and Eastern first baseman Emma Rae Allen-Ingle doubled off Harris as she was trying to advance to third. Pearsall tripled in the very next at-bat.

The Rockets step out of conference Monday when they host Bartlett Yancey. Game time is set for 5 p.m.

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