By Kevin Eickman
With each passing inning the tension mounted. It was all on the line as District I tried to reach the summit, they were attempting to become World Champions. On a day when they faced off against District III and their star pitcher Regan Green, nothing was going to come easy. Scoreless after seven innings, the teams needed an extra frame to settle the matter.
With District I batting in the top of the eighth, the team that was made up of players primarily from Milford had to wonder if they would ever put a run across against Green. After Whitney DeMora had been issued a one out walk, Kasey Fry popped out and it looked as if the game would head to the bottom of the inning all square. Cassetty Howerin had other plans however as she drove the ball into the gap in right center field. With two outs, DeMora was off on the crack of the bat and there was no way that she was going to be stopped at third. With the throw at home off line, District I had the lead and with it their chance to make history. Talking with Howerin after the game, she was thrilled to get a big hit in that spot.
“It was the greatest thing in the world, after all the little errors I had made, to help my get back up on the board and take it all, it’s been an experience I’ll never forget.” Howerin stated.
District III was not going to go away quietly and everybody knew it, what most people did not know was that the game was about to witness a controversial moment. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Alexis Hudson hit what appeared to be a double down the left field line. However, as Hudson was rounding first base, the home plate umpire indicated that Hudson was out. Hudson was called for having her feet out of the batters box as she hit the ball. In a call that was marginal at best District I now had their first out of the inning. District I would be just one out away from the title as Gabby Culver flied out to left fielder DeMora.
Pitcher Shaina Reed was facing the heart of a championship lineup and with two outs District III made matters very interesting as Kaitlyn Slater roped a double into the left center field gap. Next up for District III was Hailey Andrews, one of the hottest hitters in the lineup. Reed was very careful with Andrew, walking her on four pitches. With tension simply filling the stadium, District III’s Morgan Smith hit a hard ball to left field, but a well positioned DeMora made the play sealing the World Championship.
With the victory secure, District I broke into celebration. Catching up with manager Ron Fry, he knew it was going to be a close game and felt that his squad was just one hit away for most of the afternoon. “We had a few chances throughout the game and I felt that it was just a matter of time before we scored,” Fry said. “All you can do in a game like this is to try and keep them off the board and know that our team will eventually get the big hit, we’re too good not to.”
Harley Rickards believed in her heart that District I was going to win on this day, no matter how long it took. “I knew from the beginning that there was no way they were going to outhit us, something is going to fall and we’re going to win,” Rickards said “I had no doubt in my mind we would win, we believe in each other.”