LIBERTY — Liberty North softball took a late lead with an explosive fifth inning before Park Hill responded with its own firepower at the plate to send the Eagles home in Class 5 District 8 semifinals at Staley High School on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
After trailing since the first inning, the Eagles scored seven runs in the fifth to take an 8-4 lead before the Trojans rallied with six over the next two innings as Park Hill won 10-8.
The Eagles started with a 1-0 lead as Kiana McDowell’s double sent Kayley Lenger in for a run in the top of the first inning. The tide turned quickly as Park Hill scored four runs in the next half of the inning.
Liberty North powered back with its strong fifth inning at the plate. Kayley Lenger and Katie Chester picked up singles for RBIs before a fielding error on a ground ball from Hayes sent those two in for runs and a 5-4 lead. Avery Gifford added two more runs with a double before a single from Van Natta put the Eagles in a great spot late.
The Eagles’ 8-4 advantage disappeared as quick as the first when Park Hill scored four runs again in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
Park Hill scored two more runs in the sixth while Liberty North failed to produce another run in the last two innings.
Liberty North (14-14) entered postseason play on an eight-game losing streak before beating St. Joe Central 8-3 in the opening round of the district tournament.
The Eagles nearly flipped their fortunes to earn a district finals appearance against Liberty for the second straight season.