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Wildcats Capture Girls Major League Title
August 8, 2007 - Emerging from the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament, the Wildcats completed an improbable run to capture the girls major league softball championship.
Riding the superb pitching of Brittney Brown, the Wildcats swept two games from the previously unbeaten Punks to claim the league title. Brown and the Wildcats defeated the Ringers 4-3, and then had to defeat the Punks twice to take the title.
They won the first game 13-5, getting five runs in each of the first two innings. That set up a dramatic second game finale, in which the Wildcats bolted out to a 10-0 lead in the first inning. But the Punks weren’t going down without a fight, and rallied with a seven-run second inning to keep the game close. The Punks held on and won, 13-8, claiming the championship.
In the final game, Shay Pope, who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, started things off with a single. That started a chain reaction as Hayley Hardeman reached base. Ashlee Wilkerson hit a hard liner that was caught for the first out, but the next six batters would reach base and eventually score for the Wildcats.
Brown reached on an error, and Rachael True followed with a clean single. Amanda Marlowe singled, and Morgan Helderbrand drew a walk. Ashlee Darling, who would later be named the league’s most improved player, ripped an RBI-single. Samantha Maroska and Chelsie White followed with back-to-back RBI-singles and the lead was suddenly 8-0.
Pope came to bat for the second time in the inning and drew a walk. Hardeman then reached on an error, and Wilkerson drove them home with a long single to increase the lead to 10-0.
The Punks, who had tasted defeat for the first time this season in game one, answered the challenge in the second inning. Jessica Keck ripped a single, stole second, and scored on a single by Andrea Keck. Samantha Kuhn reached on a fielder’s choice, and then four straight Punks drew walks from Brown. Chelsie Howard, Ashkia Howard, Jocelyn Sturgill and Katie Buckley all drew free passes. Angie Smith then drilled a double, scoring two runners and cutting the deficit to 10-6. Smith scored on a grounder by Mahaley Hagy, and the Punks were right back in it at 10-7.
The Wildcats struck for a single run in the second inning when True singled and scored on a base hit by Helderbrand. They picked up two insurance runs in the sixth inning when Hardeman doubled and Brown drew a walk. True, who finished the championship game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs, rapped out another hit to send the runners home and increase the lead to 13-7.
The final Punk run came in the seventh frame, when Hagy drew a walk and scored on a sacrifice grounder by Andrea Keck.
The Wildcats finished with 11 hits in the game. True had three and Pope had two. Single hits were recorded by Hardeman, Wilkerson, Marlowe, Helderbrand, Darling and Chelsie White.
The Punks managed just four hits off of Brown, who pitched her third straight seven inning game. Angie Smith, Hagy, Jessica Keck and Andrea Keck managed the only hits.
Wildcats 13, Punks 5
The Wildcats forced a second game by scoring 10 runs in the first two innings on their way to a 13-5 win. The loss was the first of the season for the Punks.
The Wildcats shot out of the gates for a 5-0 first inning lead. Shay Pope and Hayley Hardeman both drew walks. After Brittney Brown reached on a fielder’s choice, Rachael True again provided the big hit for the Wildcats. She drilled a long single, scoring two runners and giving the Wildcats the momentum. Amanda Marlowe followed with a single, and the Wildcats were suddenly up 5-0.
Brown, who pitched a six-hitter, was in command from the onset. She shut down the Punks, allowing just two base runners in the first two innings, and those were on walks.
The Wildcats followed up that first inning explosion with another in the second frame. Chelsie White led off with a single, and Pope sent her home with a double. Hardeman singled home Pope, and Ashlee Wilkerson drew a walk. Brown sent Hardeman and Wilkerson home with a base hit, and by the time the smoke had cleared, the Wildcats were ahead 10-0 after just two innings.
They struck for two more runs in the third when White and Pope again scored, increasing the lead to 12-0.
The Punks finally got to Brown in the third inning when Jocelyn Sturgill singled and scored on a long liner by Chelsie Howard.
The lead was upped to 13-1 when Wilkerson crossed the plate in the fifth.
The Punks got a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Angie Smith and Mahaley Hagy scored in the sixth, and Sturgill and Samantha Kuhn plated runs in the seventh. But it was too little, too late for the Punks.
Pope had two hits and scored three times for the Wildcats, while Hardeman had two hits and two runs. Wilkerson, Brown and Chelsie White all scored two runs. True scored one run and drove home two more. Sturgill led the offensive attack of the Punks by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Chelsie Howard also had two hits, while Angie Smith and Jessica Keck also hit safely.
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