With a runner on base and Yukon down 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning, AJ Rayburn stepped to the plate Tuesday to face a Westmoore’s pitcher, who had just entered the game.
The pitch, a change-up, was in the perfect spot. Rayburn hit it dead-on and the yellow softball sailed deep into left field where it cleared the fence and pushed the Millerette’s to 3-2 win and a tie for first place in the district.
Yukon (9-3) entered the game coming off an 18-5 win the previous night.
They had little trouble hitting the ball, getting seven hits off pitcher Grace Hodgen, who went six innings.
But in the seventh, the Jaguars (9-4) switched pitchers, going with Renee Christian in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Christian walked her first batter, Ariah Mitchell, before Rayburn came to the plate.
Coach Katy Hoke said Rayburn often lets the first pitch go by.
That wasn’t the case in this instance.
As soon as the ball left the bat, it was clear that it was headed toward the fence and for the Millerettes’ win.
Rayburn leads the team in homeruns this year.
Both teams were scoreless going into the third inning, when the Jaguars took advantage of an overthrow on a double-play attempt and scored a runner from second base.
Westmoore scored its second run in the top of the fifth inning.
Yukon finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth.
Both teams were able to get runners in scoring position, but each struggled to get players across the plate.
Westmoore finished the night with eight hits, but also gave up three errors.
Yukon was led by Madison Montgomery, who finished with two hits and a run batted in.
Kaylee Bradley earned the win in the circle, throwing 18 first-pitch strikes and six strikeouts. She went the distance.
Hoke said after the game it was a big win for the Millerettes.
“That was big. … Just to see the fight and the intensity the entire game. They came the entire game,” Hoke said, pointing out that her players were focused.
“It seemed like they were having fun, and to be in that ball game was fun,” she said.
The coach said every district win is important, and the team is continually working to improve.
“Every district win to me is awesome,” she said.
Yukon 22, PC West 0
Yukon defeated Putnam City West on the road Thursday 22-0 behind a three-inning shutout from Jaycee McKee.
The sophomore ace threw seven first-pitch strikes and struck out five. She gave up one hit.
Yukon opened the game with seven runs in the first and never let up, getting six in the second and nine in the third.
The Millerettes finished with 16 hits, led by Rylie Richie, MaKaylee Cowan and Taylor McMahon, who finished with two hits each.
Bradley finished with five runs batted in, while Rayburn added three.
The Millerettes host Southmoore on Tuesday. Varsity game time is set for 6:30 p.m.