Eastside overcame sloppy play in the field to come away with a 7-6 victory over Rye Cove on Monday in a Cumberland District softball playoff game at Virginia-Wise’s Cavalier Field.
Eastside and Rye Cove finished the regular season as co-champions of the district. Monday’s playoff win gave Eastside (14-5) the No. 1 seed in the Cumberland tournament and, more importantly, locked down the district’s automatic bid to next week’s Region 1D tournament.
Rye Cove (12-9) seemed in command of the game in the early going.
Powered by singles from Haley Byington, Kennedy Taylor and Katlin Vicars and three of five Eastside errors, the Lady Eagles scored four runs in the top of the second inning.
Eastside cut its deficit to 4-2 in the fourth inning on a two-RBI single from freshman Cloey Bailey.
Rye Cove went back on top by four runs on a two-run home run from Byington in the top of the fifth.
The game turned in the bottom of the fifth when Eastside exploded for five runs on six hits and a Rye Cove error.
Bailey delivered the go-ahead offense for the Lady Spartans with a two-out bloop single to shallow center field that scored Hannah Buchanan and Anna Whited with the tying and eventual winning runs.
It was a career night for Bailey, who finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs.
Bailey, who came off the bench, said there was some pressure at the plate.
“There kind of was at first. But then once I got in the box I realized I’ve played this game for years and I just settled down and do what I’ve done for a big portion of my life,” she said.
She said it was great to play for a team that never gives up.
“The one thing I really love about my team is that we never quit. We battled to get those runs and I’m really happy to contribute to my team to get the win,” Bailey said.
BY THE NUMBERS
Carrie Boyd had a hit and two RBIs, and Buchanan finished 2-for-3 with an RBI for Eastside.
Byington was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, and Haley Tomlinson was 2-for-4 for the Lady Eagles.