Seven of the 13 members of the Laurel High softball team won a Senior League World Series championship two years ago.
So they weren’t going to panic when defending state champion Sussex Tech jumped out to a two-run lead on Friday.
No. 9 hitter Whitney Toadvine erased that deficit with one swing, and pitcher Regan Green took it from there as the fourth-ranked Bulldogs completed a big week with a 4-2 victory over the Ravens.
Laurel, which handed No. 2 Polytech its first loss on Tuesday, improved to 9-1. Sussex Tech slipped to 6-3.
The Ravens’ Ashton Tomlinson led off the third inning with a single, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Melissa Joseph. Julie Merritt grounded to Green, who was playing first base at the time. Green tried to pick off Tomlinson at third, but she dived back in safely as Merritt scampered to second on the fielder’s choice.
Torrie Huk followed with a sharp single. Tomlinson scored, and even though a strong throw from center fielder Alexis Hudson arrived in time, Merritt avoided the tag with a great slide to the outside to give Sussex Tech a 2-0 lead.
The Bulldogs went on top in the fourth, with all the damage coming with two outs. Green reached on a fielder’s choice, and Sara Jo Whaley and Kourtney Lee singled to load the bases. Toadvine had lined out sharply with the bases loaded in the second, and this time she hit the ball even harder. She sliced a triple into the right-field corner to clear the bases and push Laurel up 3-2.
“I knew it was a 3-0 count, and I felt that pitch and I just went with it,” Toadvine said. “It worked in my favor, luckily.”
Laurel coach Jodi Green waved Toadvine around third, but her bid for an inside-the-park grand slam was foiled at the plate.
“Whitney has been hot lately,” Jodi Green said. “That was nice. She got her three ribbies. I was trying to get her in, too, but she didn’t quite make it.”
The Bulldogs picked up another run in the fifth on an RBI single by Alyssa Givens. Laurel’s offensive outburst energized Regan Green, who replaced her sister, Logan Green, as the pitcher in the fourth inning. Regan Green struck out seven Ravens overall, including six over the final three innings.