Buckeye Local's Joe Soos was thinking insurance runs when Aliyah Morelli singled in a run to put the Panthers up 7-4 on Monday against visiting Martins Ferry.
Down to its final three outs, the Purple Riders were facing a three-run deficit with the memories of an 11-3 whitewashing against the same team still fresh in their memories.
But as his team took the field for the home half of the seventh, trailing 15-7, Buckeye's coach was left pondering what he just witnessed.
Buckeye Local third baseman Karlee Leonard thwarts a bunt attempt with a timely catch during a game
The Riders, taking advantage of well-placed bunts and five Panthers' errors, pushed 11 runs across in the seventh and held on for a 15-9 triumph.
"That was a complete meltdown on our part," Soos said. "But give Martins Ferry credit. They battled back and put themselves in position to get back in the game."
The top of the seventh started with two fielding errors. Morgan Stalder then dropped a bunt down the third-base that saw the corresponding throw to first sail offline. Two runs scored, Stalder was standing on third and before a single out - or hit - had been recorded, the Ferry comeback had begun.
"Ferry plays small ball very well and they use their ability to bunt and speed to their advantage," Soos said.
The pinnacle moment of the Purple's comeback came with the bases loaded and starting pitcher Cirstie DelGuzzo at the plate.
Every pitcher wants a chance to aid their own cause and DelGuzzo seized her opportunity, stroking a line drive into the outfield, resulting in a stand-up, bases-clearing triple.
"She took advantage and really helped herself out," Martins Ferry coach Paige Williams said.
Kylie Stalder later followed DelGuzzo with an RBI single. Cassie Hanson then crushed her second double of the inning, a two-run rocket over the left fielder's head, that ended the 11-run outburst.
Not going down without a fight, Buckeye was set to chip away at the lead.
After the Panthers' first two batters reached via error, Williams asked for time and brought her girls inside the circle for a quick cooldown.
"I wanted to calm things down and not let it get away from us," Williams said.
Freshman Kierstyn Czuchran drove in those two runners with a triple, an inning after she drove in two with a homer.
But DelGuzzo retired the next 3 of 4, ending the comeback by inducing a 5-3 ground out from Sydney Omaits.
Kylie Stalder tied DelGuzzo with three RBI to lead the Riders (2-3), while Morgan Stalder and Hanson drove in two apiece.
Kaylee Decesare drove in two with a double and a triple while Tori Nest had two run-scoring singles for the Panthers (5-4), who outhit Ferry 12-10.
MF 200 020 (11) - 15 10 3
BL000 421 2 - 9 12 6
BATTERIES: DelGuzzo and K.Hotlosz. Starcher, Primovic (7) and Nest.