The Beaverton girls have played a lot of big games over the last four years. Trips to the Final Four in volleyball and long tournament runs in both basketball and softball have helped prepare this group for pressure situations. That experience paid off on Saturday afternoon.
The Beavers trailed Clare, a team that had defeated them twice this season, 8-3 in the fifth inning of the District Finals in Sanford. “The girls never panicked,” said Coach Aaron Wentworth, as they worked their way back into the game. Alexis Grove got the comeback started with a homerun in the fifth inning to make it 8-4. Beaverton closed the gap to 8-6 in the sixth inning on RBIs by Faith Danielak and Lily Ficek.
Beaverton then manufactured two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score, 8-8. After the first batter was retired Sawyer Gerow was hit by a pitch and Kayla Newman walked. A strikeout then brought Leiyah Mungin to the plate with two outs. She hit a hard ground ball to second base, which was misplayed allowing Gerow to score pulling the Beavers within one run, 8-7 with Danielak coming to the plate. She took a two-strike pitch to left field for a single scoring Newman and sending the game into extra innings.
After holding the Mustangs scoreless in the top of the eighth the Beavers came to bat with a chance for the win. Grove reached base on an error and advanced to second on a single by Gerow. Grove moved to third and Gerow to second on a pitch in the dirt giving Newman a chance to win it for the Beavers. She came through, hitting a ground ball to second base that allowed Grove to score giving the Beavers a walk off, 9-8 win.
“This was one of the best wins we’ve ever had,” said Wentworth. “We are really proud of this team. They are a lot of fun to be around.”
Cadence Augustine got the win for the Beavers. She gave up 12 hits and three earned runs over eight innings. There were a lot of hero’s at the plate for the Beavers. Grove had two hits including the homerun that got the rally started. Danielak added two hits and two RBIs; Mungin had two hits and a RBI, Newman added two RBIs, Laken Longstreth a double and RBI, Hannah Stearns a double and RBI, Ficek an RBI, Gerow and Jadyn Bair each had a double and single.
The Beavers made it to the District Finals with a 7-3 win over Farwell on Saturday morning. Augustine went seven innings without allowing an earned run. She struck out four and gave up six hits. Grove had three hits in the game; Longstreth had two doubles and two RBIs, Stearns and Mungin each had two hits and an RBI, Newman had a RBI double, Longstreth two doubles, Augustine a single and RBI and Bair added two hits.
Beaverton travels to Clare on Saturday where they will play Traverse City St. Francis at 10 a.m. in the Regional Semi-finals. The Gladiators are the third ranked team in Division 3 with a 28-2-1 record.