DAVIS — Alexis Ball gave everything she had in pursuit of a foul popup. With two outs, a catch would end the game. The Lady Wolves’ first baseman gave a diving effort to record the final out, but the ball deflected off her glove.
On the next pitch, Davis senior pitcher Macie Buckaloo induced a popout to shortstop Jolie Romine, completing her four-hitter. Kool & the Gang’s song Celebration played over the loudspeaker.
Davis players did not celebrate overtly as they walked to the handshake line before celebrating a 9-1 win Wednesday at Davis Sports Complex.
The Lady Wolves, as Courtney Miller described it, get to enjoy “a big moment” for a while. “We’re stepping a little closer to where we want to be. We hit good as a team.”
All the Davis (26-4) players are pulling in the same direction, Buckaloo said.
“I’m proud of my team,” she said. “We’ve worked so hard. We’re finally all pulling together as a team.”
Their reward is an opportunity to clinch a state-tournament berth. The Lady Wolves will play the Little Axe/Prague winner at 5:30 p.m. today. If Davis wins, it advances to state.
“You can’t get too ahead of yourself,” Buckaloo said. “I’ll celebrate when we’re there. I’m happy, but we’ve still got one more game to win. You can’t think you’ve already have it won.”
Miller got it started, her RBI single scoring Brinlee Dulaney, who walked. The ball got past Little Axe’s center fielder; Lynsey Martin scored and Miller advanced to third.
Jolie Romine dropped down a sacrifice bunt that plated Miller; Davis led 3-0.
It was enough for Buckaloo, who credited her secret weapon, a coach who gave her a pitching lesson or two. Because of it, “I changed a bunch of stuff. I had a lot more control, spins and confidence.”
The Lady Wolves built on their lead in the third, Dulaney had an RBI groundout that drove in Katelynn Phillips, Buckaloo’s courtesy runner. Lynsey Martin added a sac bunt that elicited a throwing error; Sydney Martin slid home safely.
Joden Snyder’s aggressive base running in the fourth prompted an error that allowed her to score. She tagged from second on a flyout to right; Phillips advanced to second base on the throw to third. On the throw to second base, the Lady Indians’ miscue allowed Snyder to score, picking up Sydney Martin’s bat before she crossed the plate, increasing Davis’ lead to 6-0.
In the fifth, Martin added an RBI as a hit batsman, Dylen Johnson drove in a run via fielder’s choice and Snyder scored Davis’ ninth run because her aggressive secondary lead off third base elicited a miscue.
“We definitely came out and hit” unlike in the first game, Romine said, a 2-1 Davis win against Lexington. “Our defense is solid, so if we can just hit, we’ll be doing pretty good.”
Said Buckaloo, “It’s right where we want to be. It’s what all of us have been working for all season. It felt good to get a little revenge on Little Axe from last year since they knocked us out.”