Tigers overcome late Woodward-Granger home run in softball marathon
Regardless of sport, Madrid and Woodward-Granger games are always one of the biggest events on the calendar. And on June 8, the Hawks (1-10) and Tigers (4-7) wrote one of the most exciting chapters of recent memory as Madrid won 4-3 in walk-off fashion.
Tied up 3-3 through the top of the 10th, Madrid had needed just one more big play to get the W. With bases loaded in the bottom of the inning, the weight was on senior Allison Anderson's shoulders.
She had already struck out twice.
"I was just thinking I need to get a base hit and I looked out to right-center and saw a hole. That's where I put it. So it was mental," Anderson said.
With her hit landing squarely in that gap, Anderson stood tall at second base to see Addy Dean had crossed home plate for the walkout win. Had that not been the wining run, Erica Bruns would have scored as well.
"She's had great games and had games where she struggled," head coach Gabe Dunn said of Anderson. "This is what it's about, coming back and saying, 'I'm gonna get another chance and I'm gonna win the game for us.' And that's exactly what we're looking for from our senior leaders."
Upperclassmen stepping up
Anderson wasn't the only senior to step up for the Tigers. Bruns had a career-game at the plate with three RBI and had four hits in five at-bats. Down 3-1 in the sixth inning after Rian Jamison's home run put Woodward on top, Bruns' double that drove in Dean and Emma Olsen directly forced extra innings.
"That was Erica saying she doesn't want to lose that game," Dunn said. "She was the one who really helped lead the team through that one."
For W-G, senior shortstop Ava Petersen had a big night as she led the team with three hits, going 3-of-5. Leadoff hitter Chloe Houge led the team with two runs scored. Additionally, eighth-grader Lauren Rodgers picked up two base hits to help push Houge into scoring position.
The whole marathon was guided by two players in particular as both Madrid and Woodward stuck with their pitchers the whole game. In 10 full innings, Bruns logged nine strikeouts to match the Hawks' rising eighth-grader NataLeigh Herron.
Before facing Madrid, Herron had eight K's in five games of action. Her ERA also significantly dropped to 6.16 after allowing just three earned runs to match Bruns' performance from the circle. Through June 9, Bruns ranks second in the conference with 45 strikeouts and holds a 2.57 ERA, showing the potential Herron has if she continues Tuesday's trajectory.