Aurora scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, erasing an 8-6 deficit and claiming a 9-8 victory over Reeds Spring in Big 8 Conference baseball play Thursday.
Aurora is the state’s top-ranked team in Class 4 and has won the last two state championships, but Reeds Spring had the Houn’ Dawgs on the ropes.
The Wolves rallied from deficits of 5-2 and 6-4, scoring four runs in the seventh inning to take an 8-6 lead.
The big blows for Reeds Spring in the seventh came on RBI singles from Cole Watson and Justin Locke, a run-scoring groundout by Blayne Blevins, then a solo home run by Paxton Smith.
Seth Stamps finished with three hits and scored two runs, with Watson adding two hits and two runs scored and Locke finishing with two hits.
The Wolves were scheduled to host Marshfield on Tuesday.
HOLLISTER INVITATIONAL TRACK
The Branson boys won eight events and cruised to the team championship at the Hollister Invitational on Friday afternoon.
Rashaud Johnson led the way for the Pirates, winning the 100 meters (11.71 seconds) and 200 meters (23.78), and Rashaun Johnson posted a distance of 19 feet, 11 inches, to win the long jump.
Other event wins for Branson came from Reagan Ulrich in the pole vault (14 feet), Colsen Conway in the 110 hurdles (15.86), Payton McCormick in the 300 hurdles (41.73) and Keifer Dooley in the 3,200 meters (10:25.87). The Pirates’ 4x800 relay team took gold, with a time of 8:49.95.
School of the Ozarks was third in the boys’ team standings, with Hollister fifth and Reeds Spring sixth.
Other event wins on the boys’ side from area teams came from Titus Thompson of School of the Ozarks. He won the 800 (2:02.19) and 1,600 meters (4:42.08).
In the girls’ competition, Branson was second to Sarcoxie in the team standings, with Hollister third, School of the Ozarks fourth and Reeds Spring seventh.
First-place finishes for Branson came from Kayli Thomas in the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches) and Cali Essick in the long jump (17 feet, 1¾ inches).
Hollister’s Ashley Franklin won both the discus (89-9) and shot put (30-10), with Emily Young winning the triple jump (33-11) and Craigon Bradley claimed gold in the 1,600 meters (5:39.83).
The Lady Tigers’ 4x200 relay team placed first, in a time of 1:53.01). Reeds Spring’s Karsen Bolt cleared 9 feet to win the pole vault.
BLUE EYE TRACK
The Lady Bulldogs took first place as a team at the Fair Grove Relays on Thursday, led by a record-setting performance in the 4x800 relay team.
The foursome of Braylynn Sierks, Taylor Arnold, Riley Arnold and Avery Arnold finished in a time of 10:10.6, a meet record in the event.
Blue Eye also received winning efforts from the 4x100 relay team of Kyla Warren, Maddie Box, Ayshia Bettlach and Kenzie Hobbs, with a time of 53.84 seconds, plus Riley Arnold in both the 1,600 (5:27.54) and 3,200 (5:27.54).
On the boys’ side, Wyatt George won the discus, with a personal-best distance of 128 feet, 8 inches.
BRANSON GIRLS SOCCER
The Lady Pirates dropped a 1-0 decision at Neosho on Thursday, falling to 6-11-1 overall.
Branson was scheduled to play at Carthage on Tuesday before returning home to play Carl Junction on Thursday.
BRANSON BOYS’ TENNIS
The Pirates overcame some adversity in a Thursday dual victory at Carl Junction, rallying after losing No. 2 singles player Joe Jafari to injury.
Branson claimed a 6-3 victory, with Trey Carlin (No. 3), Mason Carlson (No. 4), Aaron Whited (No. 5) and T.J. Hauger (No. 6) all posting singles victories.
In doubles play, the teams of Carlin and Carlson won at No. 2, and Hauger and Whited won at No. 3.
The Pirates will be back in action at the Central Ozark Conference Tournament on Wednesday at Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
The Tigers saw their losing streak hit three with a pair of losses last week – a 4-1 decision at Mt. Vernon on Thursday and a 13-9 loss to Strafford on Friday at U.S. Ballpark in Ozark.
Hollister celebrated Senior Day on Tuesday against East Newton and will wrap up the regular season at the Forsyth Tournament, starting Saturday.
The Lady Tigers celebrated Senior Day with their third consecutive victory – an 11-0 win over Spokane on Friday.
Hollister improved to 10-6 overall and opened Class 1 District 9 tournament play as the No. 2 seed on Tuesday, playing the winner of the Spokane-Hurley first-round game. The district finals are 6 p.m. Thursday at Hollister.
The Lady Panthers split two games to wrap up the regular season – a 20-1 victory at Fair Grove on Thursday, followed by a 5-1 home loss to Mt. Vernon on Friday.
Forsyth took a 20-3 record into the semifinals of the Class 1 District 9 Tournament on Tuesday, against the winner of the first-round game between Blue Eye and Galena.