St. Paul — Wild things tend to take place late in the season, and Tuesday’s league matchup between the Neah-Kah-Nie Pirates and St. Paul Buckaroos fits that exact description. With a combined 25 runs and a mounted comeback, this one was a fun one to watch with plenty of action to keep you entertained.
Since it was a comeback effort, someone had to take a lead to create that situation. Neah-Kah-Nie took the honors of opening up to a quick 4-0 lead over St. Paul in the top of the first, as Ashlynn Nelson Lawrence hit a lead-off double and scored on a wild pitch to open it up on the scoreboard. Kailyn Stinnett, Liliana Rodriguez, and Abigail Waldron drove home runs to make it 4-0 Pirates after a half-inning in St. Paul. In the second, Kailyn Stinnett picked up her second RBI of the game with an RBI single to right field, extending the Neah-Kah-Nie lead to 5-0. Josey Edwards got the scoring moving for St. Paul in the bottom of the second, hitting an RBI double to score Frankie Lear and make it 5-1. Sierra Stoltenberg followed up by bringing home Edwards, cutting it to a 5-2 game after two innings of play.
After holding the Pirates scoreless in the third, Frankie Lear cut it down to just a two-run deficit by scoring Stella Koch on a defensive error. Edwards stepped up later in the inning and hit a 2-RBI double, tying the game at 5-5 after three innings. Kailyn Stinnett brought the Pirates back in front by scoring sister Rylee Stinnett on an RBI single, making it a 6-5 game. Three batters later, Neah-Kah-Nie’s Americas Pierson scored a pair on a double to extend their lead back out to 8-5. Mele Pierson walked another runner home and Neah-Kah-Nie led 9-5 after 3 1/2 innings.
As was customary in this high-scoring madness, St. Paul simply wouldn’t stay away from the lead. Abby Cavazos doubled home a run and Gracie Koch doubled home two more to bring it back to 9-8 Neah-Kah-Nie after four innings. In the fifth, St. Paul would take their first lead on an Amelia Cavazos 2-RBI double to lead 10-9 over the Pirates after five innings. Neah-Kah-Nie didn’t trail for long, as Rylee Stinnett got them the lead back 11-10 on a 2-RBI single and Kailyn Stinnett added an insurance run that made it 12-10 after 5 1/2 innings. Pinch hitting in the sixth inning, Audra Rose made the most of her at-bat by tying the game with a 2-RBI single with the bases loaded, tying it at 12-12 in the sixth inning. Edwards capped a monster day with an RBI single that brought home the go-ahead run, as St. Paul took a 13-12 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish in the seventh inning.
With the victory, St. Paul pulls to within two games of a playoff bid as the #5 seed in their league, while Neah-Kah-Nie found themselves only a single game ahead of Vernonia for the final league playoff bid entering their second game on Tuesday vs Perrydale.