CANTON, Mo. -- Laken Hugenberg and the Canton softball team was down to its final strike.
The Tigers were trailing Highland 7-6 Monday night at the Cotton Bowl, and Hugenberg worked the count full with Olivia Jarvis on second base. Hugenberg capped the seven-pitch at-bat with a line drive into the right-center field gap that drove home Jarvis to tie the score.
Hugenberg went first to third on the throw to the plate. After Hunter Collins took strike one, Hugenberg scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers an 8-7 victory.
The Tigers had stranded 10 runners on base entering the seventh inning.
"In big games, we have to capitalize with runners on base," Canton coach Jonathan Bastian said. "We were fortunate to get into another situation like that when the wild pitch happened."
Canton (9-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Highland (8-5) scored five times in the third. Brooke Miller had a two-run single, and Carli Scifres and Becca Scott each had RBI hits in the inning.
Canton scored twice in the third, and both teams traded runs in the fourth, making the score 6-4. Highland added a run in the fifth, but two Cougars errors helped Canton score twice in the bottom of the fifth. Hanna Rieffer and Brianna Caldwell both reached on errors, and both scored on Hugenberg's single to right feield.
"I felt we gave them way too many outs," Highland coach Paul Scifres said. "We committed six errors, and against a good ball club like that, they're going to make you pay."
The Tigers threatened in the sixth inning, but a heads-up play from Highland third basemen Taylor Bringer kept them off the board. Abbey Hultz was on third base when Tegan Burbridge slapped a grounder to Bringer. She faked the throw to first, then caught Hultz at third base when shortstop Kennedy Flanagan covered the bag.
The Tigers got a little revenge on the Cougars on Monday. Highland had a late rally to knock off Canton on Sept. 5.
"This is the first time we've put together a solid seven innings against a good team," Bastian said. "We weren't at our best the whole game, but we were mentally tough throughout the complete game tonight."
Canton 8, Highland 7
Highland 005 110 0--7 10 6
Canton 102 120 2--8 10 4
Baker, Merrell(4) and Scifres; Hultz, Jarvis(6) and Collins. WP--Jarvis. LP--Merrell. 2B--Canton 2 (Hultz, Caldwell).