Christian Heritage School's softball team ended its season on Thursday as it fell in game three of its Class A-Private Sweet 16 best-of-three series to George Walton, 9-1 in five innings.
After splitting the first two games of the playoff series on Wednesday in Monroe, the Lady Lions fell behind early after the first inning, 2-0. They cut the lead in half, 2-1, after the top of the second inning, yet George Walton responded with another run in the bottom frame. George Walton then scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to seal the win.
Tatiana Chiesa pitched all four innings for Christian Heritage, finishing with three strikeouts. She also had the only score on a solo home run. MacKenzie Hoffman finished 2-for-3 in the loss.
Christian Heritage coach Mike Leonard said Chiesa, who pitched 17 innings Wednesday, gave everything she had.
"It think she was just exhausted," Leonard said. "I knew she was laboring early, but she's a warrior. She's going to tell you everything is OK -- just a competitor. I hate that it ended that way for her."
Leonard said he was also pleased with the offense, especially from Hoffman, who is a senior.
"It's probably the hardest we've hit the ball all year, and I'm still trying to figure out how we only scored one run," Leonard said. "They just kept making unbelievable plays to stop us. We just couldn't come up with anything. The difference was their (hits) hit grass and ours hit leather.
"The kid showed up and squared up on every pitch. She really, really finished strong."
Ansley Adkins, Anna Humphrey and Ellie McDonald all finished with one hit.
The Lady Lions will lose two other seniors to graduation in Tessa Hawkins and McDonald.
"It's a disappointing end, but I'm so proud of these girls," Leonard said. "I'm most proud of how this whole thing came together. We struggled early with our chemistry, but they rebonded. From that point on, we became a team."