“I was feeling really pumped up knowing that we could pull through,” Henderson said. “We just had to play together to get this win. It felt really good.”
Standing on the third base line, veteran coach Huston gave a celebratory double fist pump after the hit.
Later, In the top of the sixth, Winn gave her team an insurance run when she absolutely crushed a double off West pitcher Jessie Harder that hit the left field fence on a hop and drove in Roark to extend the Bulldog lead to 5-3.
“I just felt relieved because I was out of my slump and just relaxed and hit it,” Winn said.
The Women of Troy, however, showed they still had plenty of fight left in them in the bottom half of the seventh. Michaela Recker led off the inning with a single for West. The Women of Troy’s momentum was briefly tempered when the next two batters grounded out to first baseman Nicole Peyton, leaving the Bulldogs one out away from a trip to state. But getting that final out would be anything but easy.
West’s next batter, Madi Miller, cranked a double to centerfield that drove in Recker and narrowed the gap to 5-4. Next, Adaria Opiola drew a walk on a full-count pitch. With Opiola representing the winning run on first base, Lauren Larson hit a grounder to Roark at second that she fielded and fired to first for the final out of the game.
The Bulldog offense got off to a fast start in the top of the first as Sammy Garrett, Roark and Katie Sammons got things rolling with three-consecutive singles. The three hits combined with a West infield error and an RBI ground out by Beth Overturf helped give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. But the Women Troy struck back in the top of the fourth. Grace Tafolla drew a walk to start the inning. Then Madi Miller reached first base after Roark dropped a shallow fly ball at second. Two batters later, Lauren Larson slapped an infield single, loading the bases for Taylor Libby. The Women of Troy slugger proceeded to crack a two-run double to right centerfield. West managed to tack on one more run before the inning came to an end.