Getting two outs with the bases loaded in a one-run game also helped.
Martin kept South Pontotoc at bay in the seventh, securing Kossuth’s 2-1 win and a berth in the North semifinals behind a second-round sweep.
Kossuth (14-11) begins third-round action today at 1 at North Pontotoc. Martin, who hadn’t pitched in nearly a month (April 4), will draw the nod after proving herself to Head Coach Steve Lyles.
“She’s our number three pitcher, but hasn’t gotten any work in four weeks because of our division schedule and because we have two pretty good ones,” said Lyles. “I’m so proud for what she did today. That’s how you prove something to your coach.”
Carleigh Mills (7-4) won Game One on Thursday but was hobbled a bit on Friday. Kristen Devers, who improved to 6-4 while playing under the weather, battled into the sixth.
“Kristen pitched well although all her pitches weren’t working,” said Lyles. “But she still battled.”
Kossuth used consecutive two-out singles by Mills and Devers in the first to jump out to a 2-0 lead. South finally got on the board in the sixth following a lead-off double and two ground outs in the middle of the diamond.
“We missed some opportunities, but we just hung on,” said Lyles.
Needing to win to force a third game, South Pontotoc put together a one-out rally in the seventh. Consecutive singles and a four-pitch walk loaded the bases and prompted Lyles to go to the pen.
After falling behind 1-0, Martin struck out the first batter she faced to take some pressure off the defense, which was drawn in to cut down the tying run.
Martin’s next pitch was hit to Presley Tice, who stepped on third to end the game and the series.
Parrish Tice had two of Kossuth’s six hits, including a first-inning double. The Lady Aggies had just three hits over their final innings after putting together three over four batters in the first.
Kossuth will host North Pontotoc on Monday for Game Two and Game Three, if necessary.
Kossuth 2, South Pontotoc 1
Game 2 @ Kossuth
S.Pontotoc 000 001 0 -- 1 5 1
Kossuth 200 000 x -- 2 6 0
WP: Kristen Devers (6-4). LP: Cailey Crawford. S: Kaylee Brooke Martin (1).
Multiple Hits: (SP) Brook Lilly 2. (K) Parrish Tice 2. 2B: (SP) Katelyn Ferguson. (K) Tice, Madison Switcher.
Records: Kossuth 14-11, South Pontotoc 22-9