When all the excitement was over on Saturday, Marley could only sit back take a huge breath while wondering how his team did it again. And again.
“We had the lead against Van Buren, gave it back and won it at the end. We were going back and forth with West Branch and suddenly we found ourselves having to comeback at the end again,” Marley said. “That’s just what this team does. They’re kind of like a bunch of Cardiac kids, but this is a team with a lot of pride. We’re never out of a game and we’re never going to stop playing.”
“I knew it was going to be a good day for us,” Lankford said after sparking the Panthers with six hits on the day and a pair of pitching wins. “I knew we could do it. We’ve come back before. We’re confident we can comeback whenever we have to.”
Pekin put themselves in the position of being “Cardiac Cats” due to several defensive miscues. The Panthers continued to struggle in the field, committing 14 errors in their three wins leading to 12 of the 17 runs allowed by Lankford and Comstock to be unearned.
“I’ve told the girls a number of times this year to just imagine how much easier this would be if you would give away so many runs,” Marley said. “For us to be a better team, we have to stop giving away runs. You can’t do that and be lucky enough to come through with victories all the time.”
Pekin’s sixth error of the day directly cost them a chance to avoid a last at-bat rally against Van Buren. Instead of turning a Hanna Haynes groundout into the final out of a 3-2 win, the Panthers allowed the Warriors to extend the game in the top of the seventh which allowed Jordan Billups and Abby Rider to come up with consecutive run-scoring hits to put Van Buren on top.