With only one senior in the starting lineup and a host of freshmen and sophomores — including ace pitcher and leading slugger Diana Ratcliffe, who is only a second-year player — with plenty of ball left to play, it would have been easy for Coalfield to set its sights on a brighter future after Monday's late-game meltdown resulted in a 23-7 thrashing at the hands of Oneida.
But the Lady 'Jackets proved Tuesday they are not ready to concede anything, and earned an anticipated rematch with the Lady Indians with a 5-4 win over Jellico in an elimination game at Bear Creek.
Natalie Layne's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning capped the extra-innings, walk-off win for Coalfield, which had been mired in a 4-4 stalemate with the Blue Devils since the bottom of the second inning.
Shelby Yancey's RBI single scored Courtney Charles in the top of the first inning to give Jellico a 1-0 lead.
But Coalfield bounced back in the bottom half, when Kaylea Foster's two-run double scored Layne and Ratcliffe to give the Lady 'Jackets a 2-1 lead. Foster also scored, pushing the lead to 3-1.
Jellico regained the lead in the second, with runs from Tiffany McCloud, Charles, and Gulley.
Coalfield tied the game at four in the bottom half of the inning, with Ratcliffe scoring her second run of the night.
Then the bats went cold and the pitchers took over.
Jellico found itself with a golden opportunity in the top of the second, getting two runners aboard with only one out, then loading the bases with two outs. But Ratcliffe was able to work her way out of the jam.
In the eighth inning, Jellico again stranded a runner on third. In the bottom half, Jess Jordan got aboard with a leadoff walk, was advanced to second by a Megan Ratcliffe single, then scored on Layne's RBI single to end the game.
Oneida and Coalfield will square off at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will advance to face Oliver Springs on Thursday, and will also earn a spot in the regionals.