Well worth the wait
Published 10:52 am Friday, May 1, 2015
Because of the weather, Franklin County’s and Western Hills’ softball teams had to wait two hours longer than scheduled to get Thursday’s district game underway.
And because of a tie score after regulation, the teams had to wait one more inning for a winner to be decided.
But after all the waiting, at the end of the long night it was the Lady Wolverines that came away from the game victorious.
Whitley Bardroff’s two-out, game-winning single in the eighth inning scored Casey Anglin and Hills defeated County 4-3.
“She’s had a couple of big hits for us this year,” WHHS head coach Brian Redmon said. “She’s a senior and she’s doing what seniors do. I’m very proud of her. That’s a pressure situation right there and she came up with a huge hit for us.
“Anytime you can beat a district opponent, crosstown rival like that, it’s a good win. I think it goes to our fight as much as anything else. We fought and stayed in the ballgame until we were able to get going a little bit offensively.”
The Lady Flyers plated two runs in the first inning to take an early lead. Shelby Brown’s sacrifice fly and Ashley Hack’s RBI single gave FCHS a 2-0 lead.
“It was a hard fought game on both ends,” FCHS head coach Tracy Spickard said. “I don’t think we executed very well offensively after the first inning. We went several innings there where we had opportunities at the plate and didn’t capitalize on them. Offensively is where we’ve got to improve going down the stretch.”
And that was how the score stayed until the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, WHHS’ Destiny Hyatt was hit by a pitch and Torey Hawkins singled bringing Taylor Slade to the plate.
With one swing Slade gave Western Hills a 3-2 lead as she hit a home run to right-center field.
“She’s really started swinging the bat well the last week or so which is huge for us,” Redmon said. “Taylor can make plays like that and we need her to.”
But the Lady Flyers answered right back in a do-or-die situation. Sydney Wiard’s fielder’s choice in the top of the seventh scored Jamie Jordan to tie the score 3-3.
Jordan came right back in the bottom of the seventh and threw a runner out at the plate from left field for the third out to keep the score tied and send the game into an extra inning.
“I’m real proud of Jamie, the way she came up and attacked the softball,” Spickard said. “She knew where she was going with the ball and Sydney made a great tag at the other end. That was a great play.”
Franklin County went 1-2-3 in the top half of the eighth to bring Western Hills back up to bat.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and two runners on base, Brandi Cook pinched hit and drew a walk setting up Bardroff for the game-winning hit.
“This was a team effort for us,” Redmon said. “Everybody did something positive for us. I pulled Brandi Cook off the bench late in the game to pinch hit for us and she was able to draw a walk. And that’s not easy to do to come in and have a quality at bat when you’ve been sitting on the bench.”
The Lady Wolverines finished the game with 10 hits. Slade led the way with three and Torey Hawkins and Bardroff each had two.
The Lady Flyers finished the game with six hits, led by Hack with three and Chandler Kelly with two.
“It’s the effort you want to see, it’s the effort that’s going to bring us success in the postseason,” Spickard said. “But we have to make some adjustments offensively and be more productive throughout the game.”
Slade and Hack pitched all eight innings for their respective teams and each struck out five batters.
Both teams will be back in action Tuesday with away games. WHHS (14-6) plays Henry Clay and FCHS (13-9) takes on Anderson County.
For more photos from the game, click here.