Stuart got back-to-back RBI hits from Jesse Jones and Jessica Alexander in the top of the third that put the Lady Hornets on top 4-2. But Byng answered with a five-run explosion in the bottom of the third and wouldn’t trail again.
Kolbie Bailey led off that inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Layna Abbott that cut the Stuart lead to 4-3. Breecia Crawford drove in a run on an infield hit that tied the game, and Alexis Hill followed with a go-ahead, two-run double (her second two-bagger of the contest). Fike capped the third-inning scoring with an RBI single that gave her team a 7-4 lead. Byng had six of its 12 hits in the big inning.
“We’re making adjustments hitting-wise, which is awesome. We’re finding ways to get on base,” Grissom said. “We had a few mistakes, but I expect that. We’ve still only had five practices.”
Raygn Geiger joined Fike with three hits for Byng, while Hill finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
Kylie Jernigen went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Stuart, while Emilee Beck also went 3-for-3, scored three runs and made several nice plays at shortstop.
Byng was scheduled to meet Asher today in a 2:20 p.m. winner’s bracket game.
Editor’s Note: Due to an earlier-than-normal press time, the rest of Thursday’s first-round action at the Beast of the East Tournament will be included in Sunday’s edition of The Ada News.