Luke Bryan had a hit country song called “Rain is a Good Thing” and Tuesday in Portal rain helped wash out a potential rally by the visiting Treutlen County Vikings, and allowed the Panthers to walk away with a 5-2 victory.
Leading 5-2 going into the top of the sixth the Vikings started to mount a charge. With two runners on a fly ball to center field was dropped allowing one run to score and cutting the lead to 5-3. The Vikings then loaded the bases with no out, when heavy rain started to fall. The weather eventually caused the game to be called, and the score reverted back to 5-2 which was the score at the end of the fifth.
The Panthers lost a very similar game last week in which they led 6-0 in the fourth, only to see Bryan County come back to outscore them 9-1 the rest of the way, as they fell 9-7.
“This one started to remind me of that game last week with Bryan County,” said Portal coach Travis Motes. “We played so well last Wednesday against Bryan County, but they came back and won. We haven’t been able to get back on the field since then, but I’m just glad that things worked out today, and we were able to get a big region win.”
The Vikings opened up a 2-0 lead in the second. With a runner on third Madison Noble sent a ground ball to second, an error at first allowed Montana Wright to score for a 1-0 lead. They’d tack on another on a Cortney Lanford single to center for a 2-0 lead.
The Panthers came back to tie things up in the third. Back to back singles by Adrienne Lane and Brianna Milton were followed by an infield single by pitcher Blair Brannen. Lane scored to cut the lead to 2-1. Kelsi Williams then tied things up at 2-2 with an RBI single to center.
“I’m proud of the way we battled back,” Motes said. “We were down 2-0 and we came right back in the next inning to tie the game, which was huge.”
Panther pitcher Blair Brannen worked herself out of a jam in the fourth. With the bases loaded and no out she struck out Lanford. Next with the infield in a ground ball was hit to third baseman Kolbie Motes, who fired home to catcher Jozie Moted for the force. Brannen then got the next batter to ground to her, she threw home for the final out.
The Panthers took the lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Lane, and then in the fifth the bats heated up. Riley Lamb led things off with a double, she would then come in to score on an RBI single by Ansley Woods. Woods when then come home on an RBI single by Motes, for the final run of the 5-2 victory.
“We are going to have to get back to work tomorrow as we have a big game against ECI Thursday,” Motes said. “This will be our biggest game of the year as it could be for the region title.”
The Panthers improve to 6-4 overall and 2-0 in region play. Portal travels to Twin City Thursday at 5:30 for their region game with ECI.