In the top of the ninth inning of a tied ballgame, Chelsea Gleba broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run triple to right-center field to lead Battle to a 6-3 win over Hickman.
“It felt really good off the bat, and I was just hoping it wouldn’t get caught,” Gleba said.
Gleba scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to give the Spartans a three-run advantage. After Ainsley Stubbs pitched a scoreless frame in the bottom of the ninth, Battle escaped with a victory.
The Kewpies were in position to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning after a hotly contested obstruction call gave them runners on first and second with no outs.
“Those are really good umpires, and they don’t miss a lot, and they missed that one,” Battle coach Joe Henderson said. “That’s a bad time to miss a play.”
A groundout then advanced the runners to second and third with one out, leaving Hickman with a variety of ways to win the game. On the next batter, Spartans third baseman Lilly Harrison made perhaps the play of the game, tagging out the runner on third on a ground ball and keeping Battle’s hopes alive. An ensuing walk and pop out ended the inning with the game still tied.
“After all that mess, with nobody out and to get out of that, thank you baby Jesus,” Henderson said.
Prior to the seventh inning, the two teams had traded three-run frames, with the Spartans scoring in the top of the third and the Kewpies in the bottom of the fourth.
Battle’s Stubbs pitched all nine innings on just 97 pitches. She dealt with little traffic on the bases outside of the fourth and seventh innings, allowing six hits and one walk over the course of the game.
Hickman senior Emma Henley also found success in the circle, allowing three runs —two earned— on eight hits and no walks over seven innings of work.
“We gutted that game out,” Henderson said. … “They did what we told them to do, and they did the short game there at the end and then Chelsea hit the bomb. It was like it was scripted. I’m just really proud of them. That’s a tough ballgame right there.”