Never phone it an upset. Except you’re in the existence of Becca Benton.
Coming into the Class 5A condition event as the only unranked participant, the Hayden softball team staved off elimination five times soon after getting its 18-video game successful streak snapped by defending champion Satsuma in the initial spherical of the winners bracket.
“It’s pretty upsetting since no one thought we could do it,” Benton mentioned. “We had to exhibit them off. We experienced to present them what we could do. And we did it.”
The Wildcats fought by a few elimination online games prior to grabbing a double-header sweep of No. 1 Alexandria, 6-5 and 3-, in today’s Course 5A Championship at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park.
“I never know, they acquired it,” Hayden mentor Jill Dowd stated. “It was not me. They did it all and it’s terrific for the plan. I just obtained them on the bus down below.”
Hayden (31-5) took the to start with activity of the title collection 6-5, forcing the decisive “if necessary” activity, and shut out the Valley Cubs in the nightcap to get paid its third title in system history and second in the very last a few playoff seasons.
“It was tough, really hard, because we ended up all fatigued and completely ready to be carried out,” Benton stated. “We had to hold on pushing as a result of and keep the very same electricity we had for each and every solitary sport. We pushed and we acquired right here.”
The Wildcats took the to start with and only lead of the activity in the base fifty percent of the 2nd Inning, going up 1- on a solo residence operate from Benton. Hayden loaded the bases with two outs in the third, but was not able to carry a operate throughout and was sat down in purchase the adhering to inning.
Alexandria threatened in the fourth inning, loading the bases with two outs, but also came absent empty-handed. The Valley Cubs strike into a 3-5 double-perform to near out its closing possibility right after receiving a runner into scoring posture.
Hayden additional insurance to its direct in the base of the fifth, putting two runners on base on consecutive walks and setting the stage for a 2-operate double from Ansley Armstrong.
“All I was imagining was it was 3-2 (depend) and I’m operating out of this,” Armstrong reported. “I was not about to walk back again to the dugout. Which is how it took place. My mentality was there.”
Alexandria (45-12) steamrolled by way of the to start with a few rounds of the match and state-of-the-art into the championship series with three consecutive shutout victories around No. 7 West Position (5-), No. 6 Rehobeth (11-) and No. 4 Satsuma (8-). Nevertheless, the Valley Cubs were being caught off guard by Hayden and the momentum it seized crawling out of the elimination bracket.
Recreation 1: The opening sport of the championship double-header was an offensive slugfest that noticed a put together 11 operates on 24 hits.
Hayden bought the get together began in the initially inning with a guide-off double from Kiley Weston, followed by a 2-run dwelling run from Benton, who also belted a solo shot in the decisive second recreation. The Valley Cubs lower the deficit in the base 50 % of the 1st, scoring on a solo household run by Ashley Phillips, and tied the activity at 2-2 with an RBI double from Pressley Slaton in the second inning.
Each golf equipment additional a run in the 3rd to maintain the recreation knotted heading into the fifth. The Wildcats loaded the bases, but arrived absent with a solitary operate pursuing a hit batter that introduced household Gabby Knighten. Alexandria matched the rating with an RBI double from Rylee Gattis.
Hayden retook the direct once far more in the fourth, using a 5-3 direct on a 2-operate household run by Ansley Armstrong and scored the go-ahead operate in the sixth on a sac fly by Kiley Weston.
The Valley Cubs responded with a operate each individual in the future two innings, tying the sport back again up at 5-5 on RBI singles from Phillips and Clancy Brilliant, but went down in buy in their final possibility at the plate.
Star of the double-header: Benton. The senior third baseman was named Course 5A match MVP for her endeavours and was clutch at the plate for the Wildcats. She was 3-for-7 in the double-header, hitting a two-operate bomb and a solitary in Sport 1 and a solo property operate to open up the scoring in Match 2.
“That tends to make me come to feel like a fantastic hitter myself. Our staff arrived up there and we hit her (Gattis) pitching like nobody assumed we could do. Nobody thought we could do this, but we noticed the ball and kept it going,” she said.
By the numbers: Hayden experienced its 18-activity successful streak snapped by Satsuma in the very first round of the winners bracket Wednesday, but received 5 straight elimination contests en route to its 3rd title in program background. The Wildcats received 23 of their final 24 game titles to close out the 2022 year.
Alexandria pitcher Rylee Gattis stormed via the very first 3 rounds of the event, performing 19 total innings and making it possible for no runs on 6 hits with an outstanding 38 strikeouts. In two video games (13 innings) against Hayden, she authorized 9 runs on 12 hits with 7 walks and 10 strikeouts.
Stat sheet: Hayden – Aubrey Gunter gained the acquire in the two game titles, performing a overall of 10 1/3 innings and allowing for 1 operate on 12 hits with 6 strikeouts. Armstrong, who alongside with Benton produced the only hits in Sport 2, went 3-for-7 in the double-header, amassing 4 RBIs on a 2-run homer in the fourth inning of Video game 1 and a 2-run double in the fifth inning of Recreation 2. In the to start with game, Weston was 1-of-2 with an RBI sac fly, Gabby Knighten was 1-for-3 and Kiley Christopher was 2-for-4 with 2 singles. Alyssa Jinright went 2-of-4 with a one and a triple and Hannah Lockhart was strike by a pitch with the bases loaded in the third body, earning an RBI by scoring Knighten. Alexandria – The Valley Cubs racked up the hits, but were being unable to deliver more than enough runs across the board. In Video game 1, Phillips led Alexandria with a 3-for-4 functionality at the plate, making 2 RBIs on a solo residence run and a one, and Brilliant was 3-for-4 with two singles and a double. Christian Hess was 4-for-7 in the double-header, recording a few singles and a double, and Slaton had an RBI double in Match 1. Rylee Gattis was tagged with both of those losses, permitting 9 runs on 12 hits, but went 4-of-7 at the plate with a few singles and an RBI double.
They claimed it: “I’m so psychological about it. I’m so proud of everybody and adore my teammates for backing me up by means of all of this. I had so substantially assurance, I understood my batters had my back.” – Gunter on outperforming Alexandria’s Rylee Gattis
“We experienced nothing at all to eliminate mainly because we ended up the only unranked workforce below. That was on our minds the full time and we gave it all our effort and hard work.” – Armstrong