Walk-off HR completes comeback win
Rivalry games are supposed to be intense matchups.
Tuesday’s softball game between Lake Havasu and Mohave lived up to that.
The Knights won in thrilling fashion as sophomore Maddie Darrah connected on a walk-off two-run home run to straightaway centerfield in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat the Thunderbirds 14-12 in an offensive slugfest.
“It’s feels so good. My adrenaline is up and I can’t stop smiling,” said Darrah about her home run. “It was so nice to help my team with that hit.”
Trailing 6-0 after the top of the first, Lake Havasu did not waver and immediately scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead in half.
“I just told them we have to chip away and we can score six runs,” said softball head coach Kari Thompson.
Then in the bottom of the second, the Knights (3-5) sent 11 batters to plate and put six more runs on the board to storm into the lead. Sophomore Ashlynn Tibbetts’ two-run double gave Lake Havasu the lead.
“I think there’s some little things we can do better but I do think it helps when we’re playing a rival,” said Thompson on her team’s resiliency. “We’re always a little bit more comfortable at home.”
After the Knights added another run in the third, Mohave battled back in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs to even the score at 10. A two-run homer by junior Sammie Welt keyed the comeback.
However, Lake Havasu answered immediately with two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
The Thunderbirds scored a pair of runs with two outs in the top of sixth to even the score once again.
In the top of the seventh, Mohave had a runner on third with only one out before fresman pitcher Allysen Reith, who came on that inning in relief, was able to escape the jam by inducing a pair of groundouts to keep the score tied.
That set the stage for the bottom of seventh where senior Alyssa Bishop led off with a line-drive single back up the middle. She was then lifted for a pinch runner.
Darrah followed with the game’s biggest hit to send everyone home.
“We really put our minds to it in this game and wanted to push through because they’re our rivals,” said Darrah about the meaningfulness of the win.
She homered in her second straight home game, as she hit one last week against Coconino.
Junior Taylor Thompson was 2-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored and two stolen bases for the Knights.
Tuesday’s win snapped a five-game losing streak and followed a rough weekend for Lake Havasu as it dropped all three games last Friday in the Wickenburg Wrangler Classic.
After a 10-day layoff, Lake Havasu will return to action in the Coca-Cola Classic on Friday, March 15 in Centennial Park. The Knights will play a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. against Laughlin (Nev.) followed by a matchup with Lee Williams at 6 p.m.
The next day, Lake Havasu will face Window Rock at 8 a.m.
The Knights will return home on Tuesday, March 19 against River Valley at 4 p.m.