The Eastside High School softball team will play a winner-take-all game against Perry Thursday to decide if the top-seeded Eagles will advance to the second round of the AAAA playoffs.
The Eagles and Perry Panthers split a doubleheader at Eastside Wednesday.
Perry (13-17) defeated Eastside (20-9) in the first game, 8-6, despite two big home runs from the Eagles.
Eastside then bounced back in the second shutting out the Panthers 9-0 behind strong pitching from Lauren Beshears. Beshears held Perry to three hits in game two, not allowing a runner to reach second base or behind until the fifth and final inning.
Beshears held Perry to three hits in game two, not allowing a runner to reach second base or behind until the fifth and final inning.
In the opener of the doubleheader, Perry managed 11 hits, including two home runs by Kendall Nutgrass.
The Eagles changed up their strategy some from games one to two, keeping the Perry batters off balance.
“I feel like the first game we just couldn’t really settled in,” Eastside coach Heather Wood said. “[In the second game] we came out ahead and put some runs on the board.”
In the nightcap Eastside came out strong with its first four batters scoring and its fifth, reaching second before being thrown out at the plate for the final out of the frame.
Eastside was also able to get hits late in the game when it had built up a healthy lead, forcing the eight-run rule to come in to play in the fifth.
Eastside and Perry will take the diamond for the deciding game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.