COLUMBIA — Hickman center fielder Sydney Washington had already doubled and scored for the Kewpies in Thursday night's Class 4, District 9 semifinal softball game against host Rock Bridge.
But by the bottom of the sixth inning Hickman still trailed the Bruins 3-1. Washington wasn't finished though.
Kewpies second baseman Autumn McCoy was on second after hitting a double, and Jayda Shepherd was on third as a pinch runner for Taylor Patton, who had singled. But Bruins pitcher Conner Logsdon struck out the next two Hickman batters and was almost out of the jam.
Then Washington, one of just two seniors on the Kewpies team, stepped to the plate.
She swung on the very first pitch, connecting and sending a long fly ball over the 200-feet marker on center field wall.
"When I hit the ball I was just thinking 'go!'" Washington said. "Words can't describe how I felt when I saw it go out."
The shot gave Hickman a 4-3 victory over Rock Bridge, advancing the Kewpies to Friday's district championship against Jefferson City. The game is set for 5 p.m. at Rock Bridge.
The Hickman team ran from the dugout to crowd home plate and congratulate Washington on her achievement.
Washington went on to make a key catch in the seventh inning, running down and snaring a long fly ball from the Bruins' Shelbie Atwell at the wall. The final out came on a strikeout by sophomore pitcher Shannon Greene.
Rock Bridge had scored once in the third inning on singles from Atwell and Logsdon, then tacked on another run in the fourth when senior Krista Blomenkamp doubled and made it home on an error.
Hickman scored in the fifth when Riley Wilson's double sent in Washington. Then Rock Bridge responded in the top of the sixth when Lindsey Grant hit a triple and scored off a single from Krista Blomenkamp.
Rock Bridge coach Janel Twehous let her team know they played an amazing game.
"It was a heartbreaking loss," Twehous said. "I let the team know that one game does not define the entire season, and it was a great season for this team."
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.