In the eighth meeting this season and third in the last two days it was The King’s Academy coming out on top winning the D-II AA softball state title game against Friendship Christian, 7-5, Friday.
Both teams battled all week long to get to a winner-take-all title game and it was a matchup of last years championship game (won by Friendship Christian).
The Lady Lions racked up 12 hits against Lady Commander pitcher Courtney Petty.
Petty threw a combined 24 innings in the last two days, but didn’t show any signs of slowing down as Friendship Christian held a 4-3 lead entering the fourth inning.
King’s tied the game in the top of the fourth off a sacrifice fly by Taylor Weekly.
The Lady Lions would take the lead in the top of the fifth off a rbi infield single by Rachel Baker. Friendship Christian was able to get out of the inning without anymore damage still trailing 4-3.
In the top of the sixth inning Heather Foreman came up with the bases loaded and roped a double to the gap in left center to give King’s Academy a three run lead.
Foreman knew that she needed to come up clutch for her team in that at bat.
“I just looked over at the dugout and I saw all those girls needing me so I just had to do my job,” Foreman said. “I made the adjustments I needed to make and looked for my pitch.”
King’s Academy tacked on an insurance run in the top of the 7th to extend its lead to 7-3.
Friendship Christian showed some fight in the bottom of the 7th. Senior Courtney Miles crushed a two-run homer to left to cut the lead to 7-5 with two outs.
King’s Academy’s pitcher Haven Taylor got the final batter of the game to fly out to shortstop to seal the win for the Lady Lions.
Taylor pitched seven innings, striking out five and giving up five earned runs. Petty allowed seven runs, four earned, while walking five.
“We knew coming in here that we were going to have to beat them and they were going to have to beat us,” Friendship Christian head coach Jody Atwood said. “It was going to be two champions going at it and you hate that someone has to lose. I’m proud of them, its kind of a bad taste, but I’m proud of them.”
TKA 6, FCS 4: Kings Academy needed eight innings and a late offensive spark to defeat defending state champion Friendship Christian 6-4 in the first championship game.
Friendship went into the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 3-2, but an infield single followed by back-to-back bunt singles allowed Sydney McCormick to score the tying run on an error.
The Lady Commanders had a chance to walk-off with their second consecutive state title, but Riley Walker hit a line shot to shortstop Haydyn Jenkins, who caught the ball and doubled-up the runner on first to get King’s Academy out of the jam.
The Lady Lions didn’t wait long to put that momentum to use.
After Heather Foreman popped out, Katelyn Norris laced a ball down the third base line that turned into an inside-the-park home run, then a fielder’s choice and an illegal pitch pushed the score to 6-3.
Shelby Brice Dabbs hit a lead-off homer for Friendship in the bottom of the eighth it make it 6-4, but that was all the Lady Commanders could muster.
“We’re going to give it our A-game and we know they’re going to give it their A-game, Atwood said. “We’ll see what happens.”