The Union softball tournament had a wild finish for the Lady Indians.
Pacific (2-3) went through pool play with a 5-2 win against Francis Howell (0-3) and an 11-9 loss to Rolla (2-1) Friday and a 5-0 loss against St. Francis Borgia (4-1) Saturday.
The Lady Indians then finished the tournament Saturday with a 15-14 victory against Four Rivers Conference rival Union (1-4) in the fifth-place game.
The Lady ’Cats had won the previous four meetings with Pacific dating back to the 2017 season. Three of the previous five meetings between the two teams had also been decided by just one run.
The tournament’s final game went down to the wire with Pacific scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh and winning it on the last at-bat.
Bella Walker delivered the game-ending play on a fly ball to right field, scoring Rachael Ray from second on a fielding error.
Ray had previously tied the game with an RBI-single, driving in Maddie Greco and advancing to second on the throw to the plate.
“This one was up and down throughout,” Pacific Head Coach Tonya Lewis said. “We would go up and they would answer and tie it up and then in the sixth inning, they exploded offensively and we made a couple of mistakes and they scored six runs to pull ahead until Rachael and Bella stepped up and took us back over the top.”
Union plated one run in the top of the first, three in the third, four in the fourth and six in the sixth in the contest.
Pacific scored at least once in every inning, starting with two in the bottom of the first, one in the second, one in the third, four in the fourth, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Annie Mueller was the winning pitcher in the contest. She threw 3.1 innings and allowed seven runs, five earned on four hits and three walks.
Taylor Hanger threw the first 3.2 innings and allowed seven runs, six earned, on eight hits and a walk.
Mueller and Greco each drove out two home runs.
Mueller finished with a team high of seven runs batted in, scored five times and added a double and five total hits.
Greco doubled and scored five runs with five RBIs on four total hits.
Callie Rowbottom led the team in hitting with a .467 average on the weekend and seven hits. She doubled three times, stole two bases, drove in five runs and scored once.
Lilly Prichard connected for six hits, scored four runs, drove in three and stole six bases.
Molly Prichard had five hits with three runs scored, one RBI and one steal.
Kaylee Patton, Ray, Bella Walker and Olivia Walker all had three hits apiece.
Patton doubled with a steal and an RBI.
Ray drove in two runs and scored two.
Bella Walker doubled, scored twice, drove in a run and stole a base.
Olivia Walker scored three times and stole a base.
Shelby Hootman singled and scored a run.
Shelby Kelemen reached on a walk.
Hanger allowed 11 runs in 15.1 innings pitched and posted a 2-1 record for the tournament. She struck out 10 batters.
Mueller tossed 6.2 innings in the tournament with one strikeout and allowed 12 earned runs in two appearances, taking the loss against Rolla.
The first round of pool play resulted in the first win of the season for the Lady Indians.
“This was the game we needed after the tough loss the night before at Northwest,” Lewis said.
Pacific scored twice in the third inning, once in the fifth and twice in the sixth inning to topple its first opponent of the tournament.
Francis Howell got one run in the bottom of the second inning and one run in the seventh.
Two of Howell’s six hits didn’t come until the final inning as Hanger went the distance in the circle.
Against Rolla in the second game of the tournament, a seven-run inning for the Lady Bulldogs in the bottom of the fourth inning changed the game’s fortunes.
Pacific scored three times apiece in the first three innings and held a 9-4 advantage after a four-run outburst from Rolla in the first inning followed by zeroes in the second and third.
That contest ended after five innings.
“We had started the game well and had command of it until the fourth inning,” Lewis said. “We got a bit complacent and they ended up scoring seven runs and taking the game from us. Hopefully, we will take it forward with us as a learning experience about getting too relaxed and underestimating an opponent.”
In the final round of pool play, the Lady Indians struggled to solve Borgia pitcher Abi Schmidt, who struck out 13 in the contest.
“We had way too many strikeouts against their pitcher,” Lewis said. “We struggled with hitting, which is not usually a problem for us. I thought Taylor Hanger really pitched a good game overall. I think there is one or two pitches she would like to have back, but overall she did what she needed to do to get it done and our offense let her down.”
The Lady Indians were scheduled to begin Four Rivers Conference play Tuesday on the road at St. James. Pacific will next host St. Clair Thursday at 4:30 p.m.