BRADENTON -- It was a game that Bayshore softball head coach Frank Luther said his team needed.
While the 10 innings played Wednesday at G.T. Bray park might have been a bit longer than what his Bruins have been accustomed to, edging host Manatee 7-5 is what Luther hopes will help his club with a postseason push in a couple months.
"My girls showed me some character by playing this game and not giving up," said Luther, whose team run-ruled each opponent this season entering Wednesday's game. "Sticking in there and being at their home field. So it was a game we needed. ... We haven't played seven innings, so I guess this 10-inning game kind of made up for those short games we've had."
The back-and-forth contest saw Bayshore (5-0) take a 3-0 lead thanks to a JoJo Muldoon two-run home run in the second inning and the right fielder's RBI single in the third inning.
But Manatee (2-4), which entered the game riding a three-game losing streak, didn't quit.
The Hurricanes stormed back with three runs in the fifth inning as Taylor Bell (2-for-6) smacked a two-run double. The shortstop scored on the same play when Bayshore threw the ball into the outfield after Bell advanced to third on the throw home from her extra-base hit.
Those defensive mistakes, though, are just some items that Luther expects his club to sharpen as the season progresses.
For Manatee, head coach Emmie Foy said she was happy with the result based on how her team had played leading into Wednesday's game.
"I'm super proud of the girls," Foy said. "Obviously I wish the outcome was different, but they played their hearts out. We had a little rough patch, and they came out with intensity and really super proud of them."
Bayshore took one-run leads twice in the late innings, but the Canes answered both times. First, the Bruins scored in the sixth inning only to have Manatee find the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Canes left the bases loaded in the frame in their bid to win the game.
Instead, extra innings beckoned and Bayshore took a 5-4 lead through Lashara James' run-scoring fielder's choice in the top of the eighth inning.
Manatee knotted things at 5-5 in its half of the eighth when Kara Marsh singled and later scored on an error on a potential game-ending double play pop up in the infield.
Still, Bayshore persevered with two runs in the 10th inning.
The final tally came from a James single.
"We expected it," Luther said. "We expected a tough game with them. They are always pretty good. We're good this year. So we expected it. We didn't expect 10 innings."
Kristin Staley (2-for-6), James (3-for-5) and Muldoon (2-for-5) led Bayshore's offense. Manatee was paced by Marriah Wise (2-for-5), Bell (2-for-6), Kelli Gault (2-for-5), Peyton Varela (double) and Kara Marsh (2-for-2).