Stefani Worley doesn’t mind pitching out of bases-loaded jams, in fact, she says she enjoys it.
Worley and the Hickman Kewpies softball team defeated the Rock Bridge Bruins 3-2 on Wednesday at Rock Bridge.
Worley escaped several jams, leaving the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings. In total, the Bruins stranded 11 runners and left runners in scoring position in five innings.
“I like the pressure,” Worley said.
Rock Bridge scored first in the bottom of the first after Kendall Brown reached on Jessica Perry’s throwing error. Jenna Ash followed with a single to left, advancing Brown to third. Melissa White then delivered an opposite field double to left that plated Brown and Ash.
Ash was nearly thrown out at home, but slid her hand around catcher Stephanie Frevert’s glove to score. Worley, however, held the Bruins, scoreless from that point.
“I was kind of nervous, but my defense stuck behind me with every pitch,” Worley said. “I definitely like the strike out, what more can I ask for, but I do know that is why there are eight players to back me up.”
Hickman scored once in the top of the second then pulled ahead in the top of the third. The Kewpies loaded the bases on three consecutive singles from Lindsey Rock, Jennifer Bieberly and Worley. Kelsy Merideth drove in Rock on a sacrifice fly to right field. Frevert followed with a single to right, plating Bieberly.
Hickman coach Courtney Diehl said Worley and the defense behind her impressed her.
“She worked the count deep on a lot of batters, but she found a way out of it,” Diehl said. “Our defense was right where we want it to be. We got the lead runners and we were aggressive.”
Although Worley held the Bruins offense to two runs early, Rock Bridge coach Jennifer Mast said Worley’s concentration most impressed her.
“I hope my kids paid attention, because that kid is a sophomore, she’s not a great pitcher, but she was so focused tonight,” Mast said. “Our kids get too bogged down. But if you watch her, she is one of the most mentally tough players we’ve seen yet. Everything she has goes into every pitch.”