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The Rivercrest Lady Rebels softball team opened its playoffs with a dramatic win over top-seeded McLeod, before falling in the second game of the series, forcing a decisive game three.

The first game — a 3-1 nailbiter — was a masterclass in defense on the part of the Lady Rebels.

“If there was a defensive play to be made, we made it,” head coach Kara Crawford said. “Both the infield and the outfield had impressive plays that saved runs.”

Macy Childres shined both on the mound and in the batter’s box for Rivercrest. Pitching, she gave up just six hits in the one-run complete game. And with the bat in her hands, she hit her first home run of the season — a two-run blast that gave the team its first runs of the ballgame.

“It was very dramatic,” Crawford said. “It was her first of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Childres, one of the Lady Rebels’ most reliable forces all year long, was far from the only contributor in the game.

“We had a bunch of players step up in a big moment,” Crawford said. “Alexis Cary had her first at-bat since district started and she delivered.”

Abby Ross sealed the game with a phenomenal defensive stop, catching a well-hit McLeod line drive in the outfield with a running, leaping catch.

“That was the game-winner right there,” Crawford said. “That play really stands out to me.

“We didn’t play scared at all. McLeod is a good team but we never backed down from them at all.”

The second game didn’t go as smoothly. The Lady Rebels had a hard time slowing McLeod’s bats in the second game of the series, and the Lady Longhorns took a 12-2 win over the Lady Rebels.

The first Lady Rebel run came when Mckenzie Walton drove in teammate Korie Mankins with a well-hit line drive. The second run came in the bottom of the seventh, when a Logan Huddleston fly ball scored sister Rylie.

With the series knotted at one game apiece, the two teams met for a decision third game Saturday night. The results of that game were not available by press time.

For full coverage of game three, see the Tuesday edition of The Paris News.

Tommy Culkin is sports editor for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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