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Liberty falls short in 1A State Semifinal

Liberty comes up one run short in state semifinal
Liberty comes up one run short in state semifinal(WJHG)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 10:01 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Liberty played in the State Finals for just the time ever Tuesday, and came up just short in the 1A State Semifinal against Jay 3-2.

Coach Jennifer Sewell and her squad, without any seniors on the roster, giving the top ranked Royals a very good game. Liberty starter Kallan Mercer pitched well, but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the first. One run scored on an infield error, then another on the RBI single to right. So it was 2-0 Royals into the top of the third, the Bulldogs cut the lead in half there on the sacrifice fly to center by Gabrie Flowers, Elizabeth Arnold scored to make it 2-1. The Royals get an RBI double in the bottom half of that inning, stretching the lead back to two runs.

Then in the bottom of the fourth Mercer faced a bases loaded jam, but escaped without any runs scoring in that frame, ending the threat with a 1-3 putout. Then in the top of the fifth the Bulldogs again pulled to within a run, this time with an RBI single to left by Caleigh Peddie, again it’s Arnold crossing the plate, making it 3-2. But the Bulldogs would strand a runner a third in the 6th and then another baserunner in the 7th, the final out a grounder to first. So an incredible late season run for Liberty ends in the semi’s, 3-2 the final. I spoke with coach Sewell and asked her what she told the team afterwards?

“You know I told them it’s not the outcome that we wanted. They definitely came in and fought. You know going up against the number one team in the state, Jay is a great team. I mean heck, 3-2 you know ain’t too shabby of a battle right there. We gave it a run. I told them basically this year we knocked on the door, next year we kick it in.”

The coach continued, saying she was very proud of her team, again with no seniors on the roster, making it this far and playing the top ranked team to a one run game.

“You know I told them it’s a big stage to be on. You know down here at Clermont, it’s a nice facility. I basically told them it could have been easy to tuck our tails and not been able to compete today. I mean it can be a very intimidating environment. You know Liberty County came through, we had a huge cheering fan section, they were awesome throughout the whole game. Jay had a good fan section base. And we could have very easily let the emotions and nerves get us, but they did not. And next year if we are able to make it back I think this experience will help us.”

The team will head back to Bristol Wednesday morning.

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