|Hugo 3 Valliant 2|
|Hugo fast pitch softball|
|Thursday, 24 September 2009 00:00|
VALLIANT – The Hugo Lady Buffaloes won their first fast pitch softball district title in six years Wednesday with a pair of wins over the Lady Bulldogs of Valliant. The clincher was a hard-fought 10-inning contest in which Heather Bunn and the team’s lone senior, Liz Peddy, hit back to back two-out hits for a dramatic 3-2 win.
Kelsey Raper pitched both games, striking out a total of 18 Valliant hitters over 17 innings of work. The tournament opener, a 7-1 decision favoring the Lady Buffs, was a one-hitter for Raper.
“Kelsey did a great job on the mound,” Coach Brent Shaw said. “We swung the bats well in the first game, and the second game was just a battle. They’ve competed hard all year long. All their hard work has paid off.”
The two-game, five-hour softball marathon in Valliant left one Lady Buff with a bloody kneecap, witnessed a solo home run for Jacey Wallace, and included several outstanding defensive plays all over the field.
But the moment to savor was Peddy’s game-ending single which brought Heather Bunn around to score the walk-off game winner. The Lady Buffs poured out of the dugout and piled atop Bunn at home plate in one of the most memorable moments in Hugo sports history.
“I’m so happy. I’m so proud for this team. I can barely stand here,” Peddy said after collecting her game winning RBI. “I saw the ball go over the shortstop’s head, and I almost didn’t know what to do. I’m glad I could step up and help my team.”
Hugo and Valliant agreed to play their games a day earlier than most district contests around the state, due to possible weather delays. Gray clouds threatened all afternoon, but the rain held off. The Lady Buffs will now await other district contests to learn their next opponent in the Oklahoma fast pitch playoffs.
Hugo 7, Valliant 1
Kelsey Raper struck out 11 and had a no hitter going into the sixth inning, in Wednesday’s district playoff opened against the Lady Bulldogs.
Kyli Ojeda’s third inning single and stolen base started the Lady Buff attack. Peddy doubled to plate Ojeda, followed by a single from Raper to put Hugo ahead for good at 2-0.
Valliant scored a run in the fourth on a walk and three passed balls, but the Lady Buffs responded by scoring five runs over the final three innings. Bunn doubled in the fifth, and Raper singled to bring her home for a 3-1 lead.
In the sixth, Tiara Taylor smacked a double off the left field fence, just inches from a home run. Taylor Wade singled and Bailey Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ojeda then doubled for two RBIs and a 5-1 lead.
In the Lady Bulldog sixth, Jessica Clark doubled down the third base line to break up Raper’s no-no. But Kelsey got the last laugh, fanning the next three Valliant hitters.
Jacey Wallace’s solo home run in the seventh gave Hugo a 6-1 lead. Wade took a base on balls, and hustled all the way home on Lauren Smith’s RBI single.
Hugo 3, Valliant 2 (10 innings)
The Lady Bulldogs struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second inning on four singles. They kept the lead until the Lady Buffalo fourth inning, when Peddy, Raper and Wallace hit three straight hits. Wallace’s double was good for two RBIs and tied the game at 2-2 for the next six innings.
Kirsten Mings struck out 10 Hugo hitters for the Lady Bulldogs, but Raper’s seven K’s only tell part of the story. In the third, her quick hands stopped two straight Valliant hits up the middle for easy outs at first.
Valliant made some noise in the sixth with a double from Chelsea Moore and a dropped fly ball. A double steal put two Lady Bulldogs in scoring position with only one out, but Hugo’s defense held fast to retire the next two hitters.
It was the same for Hugo in their half of the sixth. Raper’s two-out single was followed by Wallace reaching base after being hit by a pitch. Tiara Taylor’s single loaded the bases, but Wade struck out looking to strand the runners.
Strikeouts and ground outs were the rule going into the extra frames, until the dramatic 10th inning. Valliant got two on base as the Lady Buff defense appeared to slip a bit. Hugo got a force out and another strikeout from Raper, and Kyli Ojeda saved at least one run from scoring on her grab of an Olivia Ward shot to right field.
That set up the game-winning heroics for Bunn and Peddy. All of it came on two outs, when Bunn doubled and Peddy came to the plate for her trophy shot over the shortstop.