Freshman Bailey Allen was 0-for-4 when she stepped to the plate in the seventh inning of a tie game Thursday afternoon.
Allen was seeking redemption after failing to move runners up in the sixth inning, and she was successful as her two-out double to right-centerfield scored Aubrey Northrup with the winning run as Carson opened Division I play with a wild 13-12 win over the McQueen Lancers.
“Bailey was disappointed with her earlier at-bats,” Carson coach Shelby Tuttle said. “She stepped up and made them pay. She may only weigh around 100 pounds, but she can put the ball out there.”
“I wasn’t successful moving runners over so I wasn’t being a good teammate,” Allen said. “I usually get my bunts down. It was time for me to step up. I knew something in the dirt wasn’t going to score Aubrey. I knew I had to get it to the outfield.”
It capped a wild day, as Carson rallied from 7-2 and 10-9 deficits thanks to some clutch hitting from Allen, Jen Purcell and Northrup. Purcell went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Northrup went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Both Purcell and Northrup homered in a five-run third inning which wiped out a 7-2 McQueen lead.
“I was pleased that the girls stayed in it; stayed positive,” Tuttle said. “It would have been easy to shut it down after they went back-to-back (in the second inning).
Tuttle was referring to the top of the second when McQueen scored four times to take a quick 7-2 lead.
Sadaria McCallister tripled off Erica Watson and scored on a two-out single by Danielle Stewart to make it 4-2. Hannah Lowe followed with a two-run homer to right-centerfield to make it 6-2, and Jaqui Martinez slugged a solo homer to left for a 7-2 lead.
Carson got a run back in the second when Northrup doubled with one out, moved to third on a single by Watson and scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-3. Carson’s first three runs crossed the plate on wild pitches, as McQueen starter Alena Wilson had location issues.
The Senators took a 8-7 lead in the third when Sara Brewer singled with one out and scored on Purcell’s homer to right-centerfield. Michelle Perry blooped a single to right, Malia Tiffer was safe on an error and Northrup followed with a homer.
“I was glad to see Jen get a hold of one,” Tuttle said. “She really hit it. Aubrey came up and made an easy swing and put it out. It’s not what we were looking for, but it’s nice when you get them.”
McQueen knotted the game at 8 in the top of the fifth when Wilson drove home Martinez, who was plunked by Watson.
The led didn’t last long, however.
Carson went ahead 9-8 in the bottom of the fifth when Tiffer doubled in Perry, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Tiffer was thrown out at third on the play. Northrup grounded to third to end the inning.
Purcell relieved Watson and gave up two runs to make it 10-9, but Purcell and Brewer came up with key hits as the Senators went ahead 12-10.
Watson came back into the circle to start the seventh, and was touched for two runs which tied the game at 12. Kathryn Moore had the big blow, a two-out double to right-centerfield. The rally ended when Stewart, who had singled Moore to third, was called out for leaving early by base umpire Billy Martin. McQueen’s coaches disputed the call, and head coach Matt Weaver was ejected.
That set the stage for a wild seventh.
Northrup reached on an error and then stole second before Allen’s game-winner.
“She was going,” Tuttle said. “It was a calculated gamble I suppose.”
And, it paid huge dividends.