OOLTEWAH — The Ooltewah High School graduation can't come soon enough for every softball team in District 5-3A — with the exception of the Lady Owls. Everyone in the district will wave a happy …
OOLTEWAH — The Ooltewah High School graduation can't come soon enough for every softball team in District 5-3A — with the exception of the Lady Owls. Everyone in the district will wave a happy farewell when star Kayla Boseman walks out of the pitcher's circle for the last time and across the stage with diploma in hand.
Boseman, who is scheduled to join up with Mississippi State in the fall, struck out 18 batters and hit what proved to be a game-winning home run in leading the Lady Owls to the Region 3 championship in a 7-3 win over Walker Valley Wednesday.
The Lady Mustangs rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning, but the Owls came back with Boseman's homer in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on three more with Addy Keylon's three-run blast in the sixth to nab the crown.
The Feisty Fillies still have a chance to make it to Spring Fling Friday night with a road trip for a sectional game against Region 4 champion Coffee County. The winner earns a berth in the state tournament beginning May 22 in Murfreesboro.
“I was really proud of the girls. They played their hearts out and we just came up short,” said Lady Mustangs coach Lauren Limburg. “I've said all year Ooltewah is a great team. We know we have to play our best ball to beat them. They just got some more hits than we did tonight, and Boseman pitched a great game. I thought (Walker Valley pitcher) Natalie (Pruitt) pitched a really good game and I thought we played solid defense.”
The Feisty Fillies were held to three hits on the night, all doubles. Carissa Frost led off the game with a two bagger to center field and moved to second on a Michele Benson sacrifice bunt. But, she was left standing when Boseman struck out the next two batters on her way putting together a string of 12 consecutive K's. Riley Suits broke up the succession with a base on balls in the top of the fifth. A strikeout later, Miranda Young drew the second walk of the inning. Abby Davis stepped in and ripped a two-RBI double just inside the bag at third base to make it a 3-2 game. One batter later, Frost smacked her second two base hit of the day to tie the game at 3-3.
Boseman, the first batter in the bottom of the inning, gave the lead back to the Owls with a missile over the center-field fence. Ooltewah returned in the lower half of the sixth to score three more on Keylon's homer that just cleared the fence in right.
After getting a fly ball to center for the first out of the seventh, Boseman finished the night with her 17th and 18th strikeouts.
“That was a big momentum swing,” Limburg said of the Boseman homer. “But, they got hits and did some good things throughout the game. Our girls never gave up and kept fighting. Even after Boseman hit that ball they kept fighting and played with a lot of heart. I'm proud of them for that.”
“I told them they shouldn't regret anything and they should walk out of here with their heads held high. They played a great ballgame,” said Limburg after the tough loss. “Fortunately, this isn't the end of our season. We get the opportunity to play Friday. We are excited about that. We're ready to go.”
LADY OWLS 7, LADY MUSTANGS 3
Walker Valley;;000 030 0 — 3 3 1
Ooltewah;;020 113 x — 7 10 0
WP: Kayla Boseman (20-1). LP: Natalie Pruitt (22-5). HR: Boseman, Addy Keylon (O). 2B: Carissa Frost (2), Abby Davis (WV); Makayla Strickland (O). Highlights: Frost 2-3 RBI, Davis 1-2 2 RBIs (WV). Keylon 4-4 6 RBIs Sydney White 2-3 (O). Records: Walker Valley 30-9; Ooltewah 35-6
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