Lady Mustangs win third straight regional title in last at bat

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Blaire Wildy (9) slides safely into home to help BIC slip past Tuckerman 3-2 in the finals of the 3A Regional Tournament.

STRICKLAND'S TWO-RUN SINGLE GIVES BIC 3-2 VICTORY

Buffalo Island Central found itself down two runs entering the seventh inning in Monday afternoon's 3A Regional finals against Tuckerman. Jodie Lucas' two-run homer in the fourth inning had staked the Lady Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead, entering the BIC's last at bat.

Losing pitcher Katelyn Platt had limited the Lady Mustangs to just four hits through the first six innings, but Platt walked Lexie Ray and Kensie Walker leading off the BIC seventh. Blaire Wildy laid down a perfect bunt just inside the third base line for an infield hit to load the bases with no outs.

Lady Mustang Kelsey Strickland knocks in the game winning runs as BIC rallied past Tuckerman to claim their third straight regional championship.

Two outs later, BIC still trailed 2-0 with the bases loaded. Karoline Thomas worked a walk to drive in the Lady Mustang's first run of the afternoon, slicing the Lady Bulldog lead to 2-1. Kelsey Strickland strolled to the plate and ripped a line drive past first base into right field, scoring two runs, giving BIC a 3-2 lead. Winning pitcher Madison Greathouse retired Tuckerman in order in the bottom of the inning, giving the Lady Mustangs their third straight regional title.

Greathouse pitched seven strong innings to gain the win, allowing just two hits while striking out three and walking three. Platt suffered the loss, also going seven innings, allowing six hits and three runs.

Thomas finished the day with a double and an RBI while Strickland had a hit and two RBI. Bailey Owens doubled, Greathouse singled, Catherine Colbert singled while Wildy added a base hit for the Lady Mustangs.

"We hit the ball hard all day but just couldn't find the holes," said BIC Coach Marty Williford. "I told the girls to keep battling and something would drop in. Kelsey got a big hit in the seventh inning. Madison pitched a great game. She gave up the homerun, but she is so mentally tough. She always bounces back. She's done that all year long."

"I just dug down and tried to do whatever I could to help my teammates," Strickland said. "I tried to find the gap and I hit it. We just have to keep grinding. We want to get back to Bogle Park in Fayetteville and try to win it all."

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