GRANDVIEW — In a playoff warm-up showdown between top-15 ranked foes, the Grandview Lady Zebras took down the Little River Academy Bees, 11-5, on Monday night.
Grandview vs. Little River Academy has developed into a solid rivalry over the last five seasons as the two teams have met in the softball playoffs three times (in addition to girls basketball and volleyball playoff showdowns). So the opportunity to keep the rivalry going as well as face a quality program in a playoff warm-up game was a no-brainer for Grandview Coach Ron Holton.
And the No. 14-ranked Lady Zebras (29-5) came through with a big win over the No. 11-ranked Bees (23-4) for a big confidence boost heading into their Class 3A bi-district playoff battle against Valley View.
Grandview received monster efforts from junior Morgan Holliday, senior Jada Hudson and freshman Bella Jeter at the plate while junior Faith Goodgion and sophomore Caydin Blackmon combined to hold Little River Academy to just three base hits on the night with 15 strikeouts.
The Bees struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning on an RBI double with the second run scoring on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the second, the Lady Zebras got a two-out rally going, highlighted by a Hudson two-run single to tie it, followed by a Holliday RBI single to give Grandview a 3-2 lead.
After the Bees tied it on a Grandview fielding error in the top of the third, Grandview reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a Hudson RBI single and then Holliday blasted a two-run home run to push the Lady Zebras’ lead to 6-3.
Little River Academy got two of those runs back on a two-run home run in the next inning to pull to within 6-5 but the Lady Zebras broke it open in the bottom of the fifth.
After two leadoff singles, a sacrifice bunt and a walk, Jeter smashed a line drive grand slam home run to center field to give Grandview a 10-5 lead.
Blackmon added an RBI double later in the inning to produce the final, and then Blackmon retired the final six batters she faced in the sixth and seventh innings.
Holliday went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, two walks and a homer, Jeter finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs, three runs and a homer, and Hudson was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs. London Cooper and KK Moore each went 2-for-4 for Grandview.
Goodgion struck out seven batters with one hit, two walks and one earned run allowed in 2 2/3 innings pitched while Blackmon struck out eight with two hits, two runs and one walk allowed in 4 1/3 innings for the win.
Grandview is scheduled to face Valley View in a best-of-3 bi-district series at Little Elm High School with game 1 slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, game 2 set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and game 3, if necessary, will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday.