Games 2 and 3, if needed, of series at 10 a.m. Saturday in Granbury

GRANBURY — The Early Lady Horns didn't grab the lead until the seventh inning, but the District 6-3A champions were able to emerge with a hard-fought 8-6 victory over the Boyd Lady Jackets in Game 1 of a Region I-3A area playoff series Friday night.

Games 2 and 3, if needed, of the series will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday in Granbury.

The Lady Horns (25-7) trailed 3-0 early, but evened the score only to witness Boyd (11-18) regain a 4-3 lead. In their final at-bat, however, the Lady Horns tallied five runs, then held off a Lady Jackets rally in the bottom half of the inning.

Early's seventh inning began with an infield single by Vance-Cady Gordon, who was able to advance to second base on a wild throw. Gabby Constancia then bunted her away aboard ahead of a Parker Smith single, which loaded the bases.

With two outs, Makayla DeLeon worked a bases-loaded walk, which allowed Early to draw even at 4. Laiken Reagan followed with an RBI single, which gave the Lady Horns their first lead of the game at 5-4. Ashlyn Kirby then delivered what turned out to the be the game-winning hit, a three-RBI triple which stretched the lead to 8-4.

Boyd cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the seventh inning thanks to a two-run home run, but the Lady Horns defense shut the door.

The Lady Jackets opened a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the third, but the Lady Horns fired back with a three-spot in the top of the fourth.

Smith began Early's rally with a single then Sydnee Shea walked, but Smith was erased when DeLeon reached on a fielder's choice. Reagan followed with an RBI single that plated Shea, then Kirby drove in DeLeon with an RBI single to right field. The Lady Horns knotted the score at 3 when Emma Loven's RBI single to center drove in Reagan.

Boyd regained a 4-3 advantage in the top the sixth inning, but it didn't last.