By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
First, they tried to give the game away.
Then, they tried to take it back.
Unfortunately, time ran out on Cannon County’s strong comeback attempt as they suffered a 7-6 setback against District 8-AA rival Central Magnet.
“We made too many mistakes and that was really the difference,” Lionettes Head Coach Dorinda Walker said. “We fought and we battled back, but we just put ourselves in a hole. There is no quit in this team so I’m not surprised they battled back and put themselves in position to win.”
Livia Walker enjoyed a strong debut and led Cannon County (0-1) with a 3-for-4 performance that included a home run, double, two RBI and two runs scored.
Kelsie Smith was 4-for-4 with a double, RBI and one run scored. Ally Parton (2-for-4) and Kallie McCrary (2-for-4, double) also had multi-hit games for the Lionettes.
Cannon County pounded out 13 hits, including five for extra bases.
The game was tied 1-1 when Central Magnet took advantage of three Cannon County errors in the bottom of the fourth inning. Those miscues led to five unearned runs and provided Central with a 6-1 advantage.
Cannon County came back with a solo run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 6-2 when Walker belted a solo home run. The Lionettes were not finished.
They came back with four in the sixth to tie the game, 6-6. Smith, Hale and McCrary each had a double in the frame, and Walker added a single. Before the dust had settled the game was tied.
Central Magnet came off of the deck with a single run in the bottom of the sixth to reclaim the lead.
Even then, Cannon County provided one last burst of comeback.
The Lionettes had two of their first three batters reach base to put the tying run on third and the go-ahead run at first with one out and the top of the order due up, but Central was able to slam the door and escape with the opening-day victory.