Woodland wins extra inning thriller, forces quarterfinal deciding game
The Woodland softball team found its back to the wall Tuesday night after losing the opening game in their best-of-3, Class AAAAA state quarterfinal series with visiting Jones County. The Greyhounds blanked the Wildcats in the first game, 5-0.
In Game 2 Woodland responded, however, to win a back-and-forth battle 8-6 to force a deciding third game scheduled for Wednesday. Playing as the home team in Game 2, Jones County led 1-0 after one inning and 2-1 through four innings. The Wildcats took their first lead in the top of the fifth on a three-run home run by Michiah Hicks and added two more runs in the top of the seventh to lead 6-2. In the bottom of the seventh, Jones County tied the game to force an extra inning.
An infield error, a single, and a fielder’s choice forced in one run before Stephanie Youngblood hit a game-tying, three-run home run over the centerfield fence. Ansley Evans started the Wildcats’ go-ahead rally in the eighth inning with a two-out single. Walks to Hicks and Hannah Miller loaded the bases and Kailey Baker singled to centerfield to drive in two runs for an 8-6 lead.
Lainey Baker (4 IP, 4R, 0ER, 2H, 1BB, 3K) retired the side in the bottom of the eighth to secure the pitching win in relief. Cassie Jones (4 IP, 2R, 1ER, 3H, 2K) started in the circle for Woodland.
Lainey Baker had two hits for the Wildcats including a solo home run in the top of the fourth that tied the score 1-1 at the time. Kailey Baker (2 RBIs) and Cassie Jones (RBI) also had two hits each. Hicks (3-run homer), Evans, and Cambrie Carrington added one hit apiece.
Following the doubleheader split, Woodland (25-10) will host Jones County (25-12) in Game 3 Wednesday at 5 p.m. weather permitting. The series winner will advance to the Final Four in Columbus Friday and Saturday.
GAME 1: JONES COUNTY 5, WOODLAND 0
Jones County pitcher Destin Howard scattered three hits and a walk in a complete-game win. She struck out ten Wildcats.
The Greyhounds struck for two runs in the second inning on Taylor Trefelner home run. Jones County then added a single run in the third inning and two more in the fifth on a two-RBI single by Molly Keenum.
Jones County out hit Woodland in the opener, ten to three. The Wildcats also committed a pair of errors.
Three Jones County batters had two hits each — Stephanie Youngblood, Shayla Pennington, and Kimber Kent.
Woodland’s three hits came off the bats of Jessica Ryan, Cambrie Carrington, and Lainey Baker with one hit each. Lainey Baker (7 IP, 5R, 3ER, 10H, 0BB, 4K) suffered the pitching loss in a complete-game effort.