When an opportunity presented itself, Blue Springs South took full advantage of it on Thursday playing at Park Hill.
The Jaguars were down to only five outs left – and trailed by a run against the Trojans in a Suburban Big Six softball game – when a fortunate event happened with Addie Lightner at the plate.
She hit a line drive to left field and it went into and then out of the glove of Shelby Sanders.
McKenna Lester, at first base after a one-out walk, had to sprint to second base to avoid being forced out.
She was safe and the door was open from there for the Jaguars (13-5, 4-4) to rally.
Catcher Tori Bradley drew a walk to load the bases and on a 3-2 count, Bailey Brumley laced a double to the gap in right-center field to clear the bases.
That opposite field hit became the catalyst for a late rally and ultimately a 9-2 win to snap a three-game losing streak for the defending Class 4 state champions.
“We decided our bats were suddenly going to wake up,” Blue Springs South coach Kristi Williams. “We took advantage and they made a couple of mistakes. We definitely took advantage, and that is something we have been lacking lately. I was proud of the girls; they stayed in it, they stayed up and the defense kept us in. We were able to capitalize on their mistakes.”
Brumley’s big hit was followed by Lauren Good’s RBI single to left field, making it 5-2.
“It is so fun, the energy in the dugout got just got so much better and the bats came alive,” said Good, who was 3-for-4 with four RBIs from her No. 6 spot in the lineup. “I was on deck; I was screaming as all the runners were coming in. It is so exciting. One mistake can just change the entire game. That is why I love softball so much, it is so fun.”
That was the second RBI of the game for Good, who singled home the first run for the Jaguars in the top of the second inning.
Good later helped expand the lead as the Jaguars had a second straight four-run inning in the seventh inning. Her two-run single capped the scoring in the frame that turned what was a close game into a blowout.
The inning started with a double to left field by leadoff hitter Regi Hecker, which chased Park Hill starting pitcher Kaylyn Jones from the game. After a strikeout, Lightner aided her cause with a double to bring Hecker home.
Bradley delivered an RBI single to push the lead to 7-2, before Brumley got an infield single to put runners on the corner. Brumley took second on a defensive indifference, which set the stage for Good’s third hit.
She laced a line drive off third baseman Kennedy Townsend’s glove and into left field, allowing the final two runs to cross the plate.
“We have played them a bunch of times and it has always been a close, but they always came out on top,” Good said. “Their pitching is really good and when our bats aren’t on, it is hard to get that win. Today, our bats were on.”
Park Hill (12-4, 3-3) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against the Jaguars, starting off a chance for a season sweep on a good note. The Trojans took advantage of Blue Spring South’s only error to drive in the first run before Sanders doubled home the second run.
Park Hill handed Blue Springs South two of its six losses in last year’s march to the state title and won 8-7 in a game in Blue Springs on Sept. 17.
Prior to that, the Jaguars had won the first eight meetings against the Trojans since they moved up to the Suburban Conference’s largest division in 2012.
“They have beat us the last three and they always come to play,” Williams said of the Trojans. “It is a big one for us just because we knew they won the last three and we needed to get back on track. They were the only one to say they beat us twice last year. This year it was nice to get the win and nice to see the girls bring their bat with them and jump on an opportunity when it presented itself.”