NORTH RICHLAND HILLS -- Waco Midway survived a seventh-inning rally from Birdville and scored in the bottom half of the inning to win the Region I championship 3-2 Friday and advance to the Class 4A state softball tournament.
After seeing a 2-0 lead evaporate in the top of the seventh, the Lady Panthers wasted little time answering.
Melodie Brown and Meredith Bristow singled, and closer Callee Guffey, who surrendered the two runs in the top of the inning, worked a walk to load the bases.
"I think it shows a lot of maturity on her part to give up what happened at the top of the inning, then turn around and do that at the plate," Waco Midway coach Michelle Edwards said.
Monique Miller singled in the winning run when pinch runner Sandra Booker beat the throw from third to home, but not before Miller had staged an eight-pitch battle with Birdville's Susan Welborn.
"I just knew, I had that gut instinct that she was going to get the ball in play, and that's all that I was hoping from her," Edwards said.
Welborn seemingly had delivered the key hit when she struck Birdville's major blow of the game -- a two-run double down the left-field line that scored two runs and tied the game in the seventh.
"She's a senior that had a lot of heart," Edwards said.
But Midway turned the momentum swing into an invitation to the state semifinals.
Three times Birdville loaded the bases in the game, and only the third time did the Lady Hawks score.
Three times Midway's Guffey was down to Birdville's final strike before elimination, and each time, the batter reached base.
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