By PAUL HINES
---- — WOODLAWN – The Waltonville/Sesser-Valier softball team nearly pulled off a dramatic comeback against the Lady Cardinals on Monday.
“That's why you have to keep the pressure on and keep putting on some runs, you never know what can happen,” Woodlawn coach Matt Patterson said.WSV entered the final inning down 10-4. The Lady Spartans slashed the deficit to 10-9 before losing.“Our comeback was awesome,” WSV coach Colene Stanley said. “We scored enough runs to win the ballgame. Our bats were awesome.“We just have to combine it with that good, solid defense.”The game started with a scary moment on a close play at home plate. Alicia Kabat tried to slide under the tag of Woodlawn catcher Cassandra Lueking. The two collided, and Kabat lay flat on her back for several minutes. Kabat was eventually taken off the field in an ambulance.“The last I heard she was conscious and talking,” Stanley said after the game.Ryann French finished the game with three hits for Woodlawn. Allison England added a hit and three RBI. Lindsey Reeves led the Lady Spartans offense with two hits and three RBI.After the injury to Kabat, WSV grabbed a 4-0 lead. Reeves started the offense in the second with an RBI single.The Lady Spartans tacked on a trio of runs in the third. Daisy Edmison scored on a Woodlawn error. Maegan Eskew and Kourtney King pushed two more runs in after groundouts to the right side of the infield.“We kind of like to get behind early, and then battle back through the middle of it” Patterson said. “It shows character.”Woodlawn responded in the middle innings with eight runs of its own to seize an 8-4 edge. The Lady Cardinals took advantage of several WSV fielding miscues. WSV committed eight errors as Woodlawn built its advantage.“We have a habit of snowballing,” Stanley said. “They want it so badly, and then they make an error and they just think the game's done.”Allison England put the Lady Cardinals ahead in the fourth with a deep double to center field. The shot scored two runs and gave Woodlawn a 5-4 edge. Christy Barnes capped the scoring barrage in the sixth with an RBI single to make the score 10-4.The Lady Spartans came up to bat in the seventh, needing a huge rally.They got it.The big blow came off the bat of Reeves. She knocked a two-run single to cut the deficit to 10-8. The Lady Spartans inched closer when Jerrica Haley blooped a single to center. Haley's RBI single made the score 10-9.That was as close as WSV would get. Woodlawn's Cassandra Lueking got the final two outs to end the game.Woodlawn improved to 8-7 this season, and the Lady Spartans are 6-6.