Lake Belton vs. Liberty

Lake Belton’s Autumn Holman slides into second base ahead of the tag by Liberty’s Reese Evans during Friday’s playoff game in Navasota.

NAVASOTA — If everyone thought Game 1 of the Class 4A Region III final Thursday night between the Lake Belton Lady Broncos and Liberty Lady Panthers was a thrill ride, Friday night’s Game 2 said move on over.

With Liberty batting and ahead 6-2 with two outs in the top of the fourth inning in its must-win bid to force a deciding third tilt after Lake Belton won the opener Thursday 3-2 in eight innings, Game 2 went into a lightning delay at 6:22 p.m. — about an hour and 15 minutes after first pitch — at Ira Floyd Field.

The stormy weather — rain, thunder, lightning — only got worse from that point. Despite the teams — seemingly in good spirits even under the circumstances and with what is at stake — waiting in hallways and class rooms on the Navasota campus and parents and coaches hunkering in cars or giving the local fast-food restaurants a try, by 9:30 p.m. enough was enough and the contest was suspended until 2 p.m. Saturday back in Navasota.

Add it to the list of firsts in Lake Belton’s inaugural season.

Should the Lady Panthers close out the victory, Game 3 would follow later Saturday.

Under cloudy skies, Liberty started Game 2 with three runs in the top of the first. Back-to-back infield singles by Jaylen Prichard and Maci Beam set the table for Kaci West, whose base hit scored Prichard for 1-0. Beam then scored on a double-steal and West crossed when Kamdyn Chandler doubled to left.

The Lady Broncos (32-6) got one back in their half of the first. Autumn Holman led off with an infield single against right-hander West, stole second, advanced to third on a bunt then scored on a wild pitch.

Prichard’s RBI double in the second made it 4-1 and chased Lake Belton starting pitcher Zakayia Fredrick. Shelby Schultz relieved Fredrick and recorded the final two outs of the inning.

Lake Belton cut the deficit to 4-2 in its second when Angie DeLeon slid under the tag at home following an infield single by Fredrick.

MiKaelah Burkland’s two-run double that made it 6-2 in the fourth was the last play before the game was paused.

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