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Tallassee's Lexi Love walks back to her mask in the early innings as Ardmore struck for two in the second inning. (Darius Goodman/Tallapoosa Publishers)

Giving up two runs late in the going against Ardmore ultimately doomed Tallassee after a tight contest to open the State Classic Tournament at Choccoloco Park in Oxford Tuesday.

A flyout ended the otherwise close 6-5 ball game.

“It would’ve been nice to get a hit and score two runs,” Tallassee coach Pat Love said. “But we didn’t. Their pitcher did good and that team did good. That team deserved to win more than us.”

A usually solid team defensively coughed up four tough errors beginning in the opening inning with Alexis Walls in the circle.

The Tigers ended any trouble with a smooth double play from Chloe Davidson to Brooke Stewart but neither side found a score in the first inning despite Chloe Baynes forcing Ardmore’s pitcher to throw 14 pitches.

Ardmore struck first in the second inning as Walls didn’t miss by much, but an error on Davidson allowed the runner to reach safely and opened the door for two runs to score.

The Tigers answered at the plate. Belle Haynes forced a walk and then stole second with ease.

Abbie Davis singled to put runners at the corners and after one pitch, stole second to give the Tigers a second runner in scoring position. It all came up good as Avery Lumpkin picked up a sharp RBI double to bring the runners home to tie the game up.

Tallassee moved ahead 3-2 in the third inning as Baynes coaxed a walk and moved forward 45-feet on a ground out. Lexi Love drove in the run.

Ardmore struck for two runs in the fifth inning, prompting a change at pitcher to Davidson. The Tigers didn’t have to do too much in the bottom of the fifth inning as Davidson scored Baynes on a triple but with a runner in scoring position, the Tigers couldn’t find another way to score in the inning.

Ardmore jumped ahead in the seventh inning, the driving force behind their victory.

A leadoff walk followed by a bunt single moved the runner and led to the runner reaching first on an error. A sacrifice fly to left scored the first run and a single up the middle drove in the second.

Tallassee was able to fight back. The program was down 6-4 and only had three outs to tie the game. Baynes led it off with a single and Davidson singled behind her to put runners on first and second.

Love sacrificed to move the runners forward 45-feet and a ground out from Haynes scored the first run. All the Tigers needed was a single.

It never came as Tallassee’s final batter Davis flew out at third.

Baynes went 1-for-2 at the plate scoring three runs while Davidson went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Lumpkin led the way with two RBIs.

“We had four or five errors,” Love said. “We let the moment get a little big right here. We’ve gotta calm down and we’ve gotta come back and play ball.”

The Tigers are now in danger of being eliminated and will face Alexandria in the first game of the losers bracket with an opportunity to play again with a win at 4 p.m.

Regional Sports Director

Darius Goodman graduated from South Carolina State University in 2015 and returned to Georgia as a sports journalist. 2017 Award-winning sports journalist in Georgia now in Alabama looking to tell the stories of the community.