Walker powers Pelham past Chelsea

Pelham's Kristian Foster is tagged out by the Chelsea catcher in the Panthers' 9-5 area victory March 14. (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

Pelham’s Kristian Foster is tagged out by Chelsea catcher Alexandria Smithson in the Panthers’ 9-5 area victory March 14. (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

CHELSEA – The Chelsea Hornets softball team fought back from a 3-run deficit to tie Pelham, but the Panthers’ Madi Walker gave her team the lead in the final inning of a 9-5 victory March 14.

Pelham (16-2, 2-0 in Class 6A, Area 8) scored a run in each of the first three innings to grab a 3-0 advantage. However, Chelsea began to chip away at the deficit.

The Hornets (6-8, 0-2) closed the gap in the bottom of the third on a pair of RBI singles by JoJo Johnson and Maygen Boaz-Jeffords to make the score 3-2 after three innings of play.

Caitlyn Davis led off the fourth with a single and tied the game on a wild pitch to swing the momentum in the Hornets’ favor. With two runners on, Alexandria Smithson cleared the bases with a single up the middle of the infield to give Chelsea its first lead of the game, 5-3 after four innings of play.

The Panthers didn’t allow Chelsea to hold the lead for long. Walker drove home a run on a RBI double and Pelham added another run on a sacrifice fly to even the game 5-5 after five innings of play.

The score stood until the decisive seventh inning. Walker gave Pelham a 6-5 lead on a solo home run to left-center and set the pace for the rest of the inning. Pelham had five hits in the inning and scored four runs in the inning to take the 9-5 win.

Gillespie picked up the win for Pelham pitching two innings in relief with four strikeouts. Caitlyn Davis took the loss for Chelsea allowing four earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks.

Walker led all batters finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and a stolen base for Pelham. Kristian Foster added a 2-for-4 effort with a triple and two RBIs. Krista Shirley finished 2-for-2 with a RBI for the Panthers.

JoJo Johnson led Chelsea batting 1-for-1 with a triple, walk and a RBI. Smithson finished the game 1-for-2 with two RBIs.