Alcovy will have to wait one more day to find out if its softball team can advance to next week's state finals in Columbus.
What the Tigers don't have to wait for is to find out if they have a winning attitude, and the ability to battle back.
Alcovy couldn't get any offense going in the first game of the best-of-three series against Hillgrove Wednesday, losing 4-0. Alcovy then fell behind 2-0 in the nightcap, but managed to score three unanswered runs to secure a 3-2 victory over the Hawks and force a third game Thursday at 5 p.m.
In Wednesday's opener, Hillgrove had its leadoff batter reach in five of the game's seven innings, and Hawks' pitcher Abby Evans kept the Tigers at bay. Evans allowed just three hits, while striking out four batters and leaving three runners stranded on base.
In the top of the third Brittany Ferrell connected on a two-out slap hit over Morgan Mobley's head at third base, falling just fair. Ferrell reached second on the play, and would come home on a single by Rachel Jarves to put Hillgrove up 1-0.
The Hawks struck again in the top of the sixth on Maddi Garner's single to right field to score Abby Akins. Akins led the inning off with a double, and then moved to third on a sacrifice.
The Hawks doubled their lead in the top of the seventh, after another leadoff runner reached base. Katheryn Jackson was hit by a pitch to get things started, and moved to second on a sacrifice. Then with two outs, Brittany Ferrell hit into an error at second base, scoring Jackson. Ferrell came home on a double by Akins.
Hillgrove had eight hits, including three to lead off an inning. Alcovy had just three hits in the first game, including two in the third inning, in which it left a runner on third and second for its best scoring opportunity.
In the bottom of the third, Waneshia Morris led things off with a single, and moved to second on asacrifice by Chelsie Nolley. Marie Peck then moved her to third on a single, and stole second. Kalia Johnson and Kia Sorrells then hit into ground outs to end the inning.
"The girls knew going in that we could score runs, we just had to get the clutch this," Alcovy coach Monica Marks said. "The first game we had second and third, and just couldn't get the clutch hits.
"Hopefully tomorrow we can get a little more comfortable."
The Hawks started things off in the second game with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. After the two teams switched home and visiting sides in the nightcap, Kia Lang led off with a single. Michelle Forrester then drove her home on an RBI triple over the centerfielder's head.
The Tigers bounced back in the third inning, as Kalia Johnson led off with a double to right center. Johnson moved to third on a sacrifice fly, and then came home on a single to right by Chelsea Murphy. Murphy would score on a fly ball by Raven Smith hit toward second base and dropped by the shortstop heading toward the second baseman.
The Tigers took their first lead of the day after Waneshia Morris reached base with a leadoff single. She then scored from second on a blooper to centerfield by Johnson. The third run came off of Evans, who came in relief after the third inning.
"That was huge," Marks said. "The confidence going into tomorrow, knowing that that's who they're going to throw is significant."
The Tigers and Hawks look to settle things at 5 p.m. today at Alcovy High.