Lady Hornets win South State in a thriller
Published 6:30 am Sunday, May 10, 2015
The Loyd Star Lady Hornets captured a thrilling 1-0 win over the Taylorsville Lady Tartars Saturday afternoon to complete a two-game sweep in the Class 2A South State Championship at Jan Smith Delaughter Field.
In Game One action Friday night, the Lady Hornets battled through an eight-inning contest to prevail 2-1 over Taylorsville.
With the sweep, the Loyd Star Lady Hornets will advance to the state championship for the first time in six years after winning the gold trophy in 2009.
“We are extremely excited to be heading to the state championship,” said Loyd Star coach Jan Delaughter. “This was a tough, defensive series against a very good Taylorville team. Both teams played hard. Overall, I am extremely proud of my girls for fighting hard to earn these two wins.
The Lady Hornets (27-3) have punched their tickets to play for the MHSAA State Championship Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16 at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland. Loyd Star will play the winner of the North State Championship between East Webster and Eupora. Game times are currently unavailable.
Loyd Star 2, Taylorsville 1
In Game One Friday night, the Lady Hornets and the Lady Tartars provided an exciting defensive battle as both teams fought in a scoreless contest until the fourth inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Hornets managed to take an early 1-0 lead on a groundout by Johnna Norman.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Lady Tartars answered by scoring one-run to tie the contest at 1-all on an RBI single by Victoria Blankenly.
Both teams battled through the rest of the contest tied at 1-1 to force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, Loyd Star’s Ali Gartman helped the Lady Hornets captured a 2-1 lead after hitting a single to send home Brooks Rushing from second base.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Lady Tartars threatened to tie the contest, but the Lady Hornets’ defense stood strong and denied Taylorsville the win.
Mackenzie Smith was the winning pitcher for Loyd Star with seven strikeouts and four walks.
Lauren Stringer suffered the lost for Taylorsville with eight strikeouts and two walks.
Gartman was the top hitter on offense for the Lady Hornets with two singles. Julie Smith, Madison Jones, Abagail Thornton and Megan Norton hit safely.
Katelyn Harrison paced the Lady Tartars’ offense with two singles. Emily Vowell contributed a double. Hitting safely was Anna Kennedy and Victoria Blankenly.
Loyd Star 1, Taylorsville 0
In Game Two Saturday, the Lady Hornets and the Lady Tartars provided another exciting defensive battle for their softball fans.
In the bottom of the first inning, the Lady Hornets managed to get on the scoreboard first on a solo home-run hit by first baseman Ali Gartman to secure an early 1-0 lead.
Throughout the rest of the contest, both Loyd Star and Taylorsville’s defense fought in a scoreless battle as the Lady Hornets held on to a 1-0 lead until the top of the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Lady Tartars came out looking to take away the win from Loyd Star as they fought hard to load the bases with one out.
Taylorville’s next batter, Kaitlyn Harrison, hit a short infield fly, but the umpire called the batter out on the infield fly rule. During the same play, Taylorsville’s runner on third base rushed home to score but stopped just before touching home plate and turned around to go back to third base quickly.
Loyd Star defense saw the girls returning and threw the ball over to their third baseman to record the final out just before Taylorville’s runner could get back.
After the bizarre two-out conclusion, there was a long discussion between the umpires and coaches, the umpires made the final official call signaling that Taylorsville’s batter was out on the infield fly rule and the runner was out returning to third base.
After the final call was made the Lady Hornets celebrated as the dugout cleared in a joyous excitement.
Smith was the winning pitcher on the rubber for Loyd Star with one strikeout and one walk.
Lauren Stringer suffered the loss for Taylorsville with two strikeouts and no walks.
Ali Gartman directed the Lady Hornets at the plate with a home run. Raigan Smith, Megan Norton and Mackenzie Smith hit safely.
Miracle Crosby, Kaylie DelaPaz, Anna Kennedy, Lauren Stringer and Emily Vowell paced the Lady Tartars offense with a single each.