In order for the third-seeded Navarre Raiders softball team to play for the district championship, it had to win against rival Milton last Tuesday night.
“It is difficult to beat a team twice,” Navarre head coach Kelly Hayes said. “After a three-hour practice, we felt we were ready for them.”
And the Raiders were ready, hanging on for a 4-3 win.
Ali Gutierrez was on the mound and did a great job of inducing the Panthers into hitting long fly balls that the Raider outfield turned into long outs.
The Raiders scored the game’s first run in the second inning after singles by Rachel Hester, Lakin Grindland and Mary Beloat’s sacrifice.
The Panthers came back with two runs in the third inning. In the bottom of the third, the Raiders tied the game on Caitlin Tilton’s single, followed by Hester’s RBI single. In the fifth, great base running by Kallie Anderson set up another Hester single, allowing two more runs to score. The Raiders led 4-2 at that point.
The Panthers scored one more in the top of the sixth, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Nerves were apparent going into the seventh.