A late rally by the Rusk Lady Eagles stalled out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning as West's Lady Trojans earned a 7-4 win over Rusk in Game 1 of a best-of-three area series Friday night at Don Posey Field in Fairfield.
Game 2, and a third affair, if needed, will also be played in Fairfield, starting at 1 p.m. this afternoon.
West (25-7) tacked four runs onto the scoreboard in the top of the sixth to turn what was a nip-and-tuck affair into a 7-2 Lady Trojan lead.
Maddison Kettler belted a three-run home run over the wall in left center with two outs, which proved to be a blow that the Lady Eagles (19-8) would not be able to overcome.
Kettler, West's lead-off hitter went 3 for 4 on the night and also ripped a first inning triple as well as a two-base hit.
She collected three RBI in the game.
Rusk came back in the seventh to score two runs as Cheyanne Phillips plated when the West pitcher walked Kara Hugghins with the bases loaded. Phillips led off the frame with a single.
Chelsea Daniels, who also got aboard on a free pass came in to score when Kaitlin Tugwell drew a base-loaded walk.
Missed opportunities hurt Rusk's chances as the Lady Eagles left five runners stranded in the final-two frames and nine in the game. Conversely, West had five runners left on base.
Kelsey Blankinship went 2 for 4 at the plate to lead Rusk.
Daniels accounted for Rusk's only extra-base hit, a second frame double into the corner in left field that drove in one run.
West outhit the Lady Eagles, 11-7.
Danielle Nors got the win in the circle for West. She pitched 6.2 innings and was relieved by Mariah Reese, who worked the final third of an inning to earn the save.