Brookover’s two bombs lift Frontier over St. Marys, 5-4

BELMONT, W. Va. – Frontier catcher Lexi Brookover slammed a pair of solo home runs and then was involved in a game-saving play at home plate in the final inning as the Lady Cougars held on for a thrilling 5-4 come-from-behind win over the St. Marys Lady Blue Devils Monday night in Belmont.

For the first four-plus innings, St. Marys starting pitcher Erica Payne appeared to have the Cougars’ number as she had scattered five base hits and kept Frontier off the scoreboard as her team held a 3-0 lead.

Brookover finally got the Lady Cougars on the board when she connected on a long home run to dead center field to cut the lead to 3-1.

Frontier went right back to work in the top of the sixth inning as Kylie Daugherty and Nikki Haught led off with base hits before Isabella Rinard doubled in a pair of runs.

First baseman Kenzi Smith brought her in with the go-ahead run with a sharp single up the middle.

Brookover added what would prove to be a huge insurance run in the top of the seventh when she crushed a ball well over the left fielder’s head for her second round-tripper of the game and a 5-3 Cougar lead.

St. Marys would not go quietly at all in its last at-bat as Natalie Payton led off with a single and one out later Makayla Handschumacher drilled a ball way over the head of Rinard in left field.

Rinard quickly retrieved the ball and fired a perfect relay throw to Haught at shortstop, who fired another perfect strike to Brookover at home plate. Brookover tagged out Handschumacher trying to stretch the hit into a game-tying home run.

“Lexi (Brookover) has been hitting the ball pretty good and those two were hit a country mile,” said Frontier head coach Russ Morris, whose team improved to 5-2 with the win. “Then she made great tag after a couple of great throws there at the plate. She is a real leader and that is what leaders do.”

Cougar pitcher Sammi Morris collected three base hits and also struck out six to gain the win for the Lady Cougars.

“We got behind and our kids could have just laid down, but that’s not what our kids are about,” said Morris. “We fought back and got a great win against a quality opponent.”

St. Marys slipped to 5-5 with the loss.