It was a wild ending to a very wet, wacky week. But as sunset crept over the Ezell-Harding softball field Sunday, David Lipscomb proved that history does, indeed, repeat itself.
Having to come out of the losers’ bracket for the second straight year, the Mustangs did just that, scoring razor-thin 2-1 and 4-3 victories over the host Eagles to win the District 9-AA softball crown at Freudenthal field.
It propelled Lipscomb (25-12) into a Region 5-AA tournament semis home game today at Burton Field today at 4:30 when the Mustangs will host Marshall County. Ezell is forced to make a trip down Interstate 65 to play at Loretto. (For prep schedule, click here.)
Last year, Lipscomb had to win three games in one day, including two straight over Ezell, with the final game ending just after midnight, to capture the title. This year, three days of rainouts (with only one day being played at the original site of Trevecca) forced the tournament to be played mainly on home fields. The schedule the past two days was postponed, forcing play into Sunday.
“It was an amazing week,’’ said Coach Gary Davis. “To win two games in one day against an outstanding team like Ezell and an outstanding coach like Don Freudenthal is an terrific accomplishment.’’
Junior Lydia Biggerstaff drilled a two-run homer to pull Lipscomb even at 2-2 in the second game after Ezell had scored two in the top of the first.
“I was just looking for something up, something I could hit,’’ said Biggerstaff belted her sixth homer after shortstop Whitney Wood had her first of two singles. “We came over here today so ready, so focused and everyone played so well. It was just like last year.’’
Lipscomb grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Barkley Logan singled and stole second, then alert pinch runner Lauren McCullum raced to third on a fielders choice and scored when the throw got away.
Kate Taylor’s RBI bloop single in the sixth for a 4-2 lead proved big when Ezell scored in the seventh on Kelsey Petty’s RBI single. Petty and Megan Lewis had first-inning RBIs, staking the Eagles to their 2-0 lead.
Eighth-grader McCarley Thomas, who was the winning pitcher in the first game, came in to get the final two outs after Ezell had runners on second and third. She picked up her third save in relief of Logan (11-3), the winning pitcher. Mackenzie Lehmer made a nice running catch in right-field to end it.
Thomas (8-4) went the distance in the opener, striking out eight, walking none. Lipscomb scored in the first when Lehmer’s RBI grounder scored Wood. It came off durable Eagle pitcher Callie Bobo, who pitched well but was the hard luck loser in both games.
“You know when you get in this business (coaching) that these things can happen,’’ said Coach Don Freudenthal shaking his head.
“You have to give Lipscomb credit. As (tournament) director, when the tournament got past Saturday (after rainouts), I could have called us No. 1 and Lipscomb No. 2, since we had beaten them earlier in the tournament (1-0). But that wasn’t the right thing to do, we needed to decide it on the field. Callie pitched her heart out,’’ he said.
“Lydia’s home run was just huge,’’ Davis said. “It picked us right back up after Ezell had scored those two runs in the top of the first. McCarley was outstanding in both games.’’
History lessons have proven nice to indefatigable Lipscomb.