The Byrd Lady Jackets completed a perfect run through District 1-5A on Wednesday night with a 6-3 triumph over Haughton at the Byrd softball complex.
Hannah Lee and Callie Crandall gave up seven hits to the Lady Bucs but didn’t allow a big inning in the regular season finale for both teams.
“We got the hits when we needed them, which is something we haven’t done much lately,” Byrd coach Mark Lambert said. “We keep getting just a little bit better.”
Both teams are headed into road playoff games with the Lady Bucs playing either Friday or Monday, since their prom is Saturday. Byrd is expected to play Monday and could meet Walker, which the Lady Jackets have defeated twice earlier this season by scores of 7-2 and 7-1.
The game was sealed for Byrd (18-10, 12-0) in the sixth when Hannah Lee and Hannah Ellis reached on errors, were moved over on a sacrifice bunt by Lillie Daniel, and scored on a double to the fence by Alex Wynne. Senior Tia Timerding, who had struggled defensively in the game came up with a big defensive stop in the seventh to keep a Haughton rally from forming.
“I didn’t play well tonight. Usually I’m either playing good defense or hitting. Tonight neither,” Timerding summed up. “But all of our wins haven’t come from one person and we are coming together as a team. I just hope that carries over into the playoffs.”
After Byrd took a 4-0 lead in the first, the Lady Bucs (15-9, 9-3) picked up a run in the third off Lee after Anna dies beat out an infield single and scored on a double to center by Lacey Dodson. Haughton added two more in the fourth when Crandall walked Ashley Smith and Leah Hopson to set up Keeleigh Bennett and Dies for RBI singles.
“We need to hit in clutch situations, pitch to our spots and play better defense,” Haughton coach Leanne Prather said. “We’re not as consistent as we need to be. We are capable, but we aren’t doing it.”
Byrd managed just five hits off Ashley Smith but capitalized on a trio of Haughton errors. In the first inning, Chandler Higgins walked, stole second, and moved to third on Timerding’s single. Higgins scored on a passed ball and Timerding scored when Claire Hyde reached on an error. Hyde and Cora Procell both scored to make it 4-0 Byrd after one inning.
Lee took the win in three innings of work, while Crandall struck out five in her four innings. Smith allowed five hits and struck out two.