The Marianna Ponytails are headed to state. The Marianna team battled heat along with falling into the loser’s bracket on opening day and battled back to take the district championship last Wednesday night in Sneads. They took a 5-4 win over Franklin County in the championship game.
Marianna sent their ace, Ella Rooks to the circle. Rooks went four innings before being relieved by Addison Giles who pitched the fifth. Rooks came back in to close out the sixth inning and seal the victory.
Franklin County got on the board first with a run in the first inning. Marianna had a two-out double by Tay Barnes, followed by a double by Hayden Gause but no runs crossed the plate.
Franklin County was kept off the board in the second inning with Marianna passing up another scoring opportunity. Avery Patterson drew a lead off walk followed by Alayna Sims singling to the right side but no runs came home. Franklin County had one base runner in the third inning to keep the game at 1-0. Kennedy Temples had a leadoff single for Marianna in the third but was left stranded on third when the final out was made.
Franklin County added a pair of runs in the fourth inning with Marianna countering with two of their own to keep the game at 3-2 Franklin County. Tay Barnes singled and scored on a triple by Hayden Gause. With one out, Gause scored on a sac bunt by Avery Patterson before a strikeout ended the inning.
Marianna added another run in the fifth inning when Jade Tipton got things going with a single, followed by a double by Addison Giles. Tipton was out headed to third but with one out, Alexi Mickel singled home Giles. Ava Guy and Ella Rooks drew a pair of walks but a ground out ended the inning with the bags full.
Franklin County added a run in the sixth inning with Marianna countering with two runs to take the win. Hayden Gause made it a perfect day at the plate with a leadoff double. With two outs, Alayna Sims laid down a bunt in just the right spot to score Gause and reach first safely. Jade Tipton drew a walk before Kennedy Temples plated the go ahead run.