Springfield, FL---The Rutherford Lady Rams, serving as the host team in the 5A District 1tournament, hoped that home field advantage would help give them the nod on the field when they took on top seed Gulf Breeze in Wednesday night's late game.
Early on, playing in front of their fan base, the lower-seeded Lady Rams used that field familiarity to their favor.
In the top of the first, Micah Pledger gave Rutherford the lead with a bloop single to right to go up 1-0.
The Lady Dolphins would answer back in their half of the first, yet Rutherford didn't back down. Taylor Leahy's grounder up the middle gave the advantage back to the Lady Rams as they led 2-1.
The Lady Rams lead was as high as two runs, but Gulf Breeze is the top seed in the tourney for a reason. Emily Arnold went deep for a two run shot in the bottom of the sixth to cap off a three run rally that saw the Lady Dolphins lead 5-3.
With their season on the line, Rutherford showed great patience at the plate in the sixth, walking in two runs via Leahy and Savanna Boyette's at-bats. That left the game tied at 5 headed to the bottom of the seventh.
With two away and a runner on third for the Lady Dolphins, the Lady Rams needed one more out to head to extras. But a dropped third strike and a late throw to first allowed the game winning run from third to score, ending the ball game.
Rutherford's season ends in the district semifinals, as Gulf Breeze takes it 6-5.
Gulf Breeze will not only advance to the state tournament, but will also face Mosley for the district title, after the other Lady Dolphins defeated Arnold 2-1 in eight innings.
In the highlights attached above, the Lady Rams the away team as the lower seed, hitting first. Micah Pledger skies one to right, drops between the fielders, and it scores Abbie Barron.
Gulf Breeze answers in the bottom of the first, the double down the line in left off Barron scores the tying run.
In the top of the second, the Lady Rams Taylor Leahy singles through the right side to plating Taylor Stanaker.
Gulf Breeze though scored 3 in the 6th, led it 5-3 into the 7th, Rams score two on bases loaded walks to tie it at five. But Gulf Breeze scores the game winner in the 7th on a dropped third strike that, 7-6 Lady Dolphins win.