BLACKFOOT â€” Playing into a gale force wind for the entirety of their double header with Hillcrest, the Blackfoot Lady Broncos led for 13 of the 14 innings, earning a split for their efforts on the day by dropping game one 11-8 and then rebounding for a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
"I'll take the split, that's what we needed for some confidence," Blackfoot head coach Brenda Whitworth said. "We are young and so we don't have that confidence level where we need to be. They still don't don't believe in themselves as much as they need to. I know what they can tap though and they are going to tap into that potential and it will be awesome to watch when it happens."
Blackfoot came out firing in game one erupting for a three spot in the home half of the first inning. Caitlyn Cathey led off the frame with an infield single and later scored on an over throw at the plate when Ally Smith singled. Mattison Chavez followed with an RBI triple that just missed going out of the yard by about two feet and then scampered home when the catcher made a throw to first base on a strikeout in the dirt.
After an unearned run in the top of the second Blackfoot returned to the dugout with their hitting shoes still firmly in place as back-to-back singles by Jamie Horsley and Emily Lish ignited a rally that witnessed both scoring, giving Blackfoot a 5-1 lead.
Hillcrest eventually tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the fifth inning but Blackfoot regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Cathey scampered home on an RBI ground out by Smith and heading to the seventh Blackfoot led 8-7.
The fateful seventh started out innocently enough with a quick ground ball out to Brielle Brower at short.
A walk, a single and a fielding error followed however, loading the bases for Hillcrest's three hitter Cassie Wood. Wood, who was 0-4 up to that point then broke the hearts of the Blackfoot faithful when she took a pitch deep and out for a grand slam home run and the eventual game winner.
In game two nobody would have faulted the Lady Broncos if they would have hung their heads after the disappointing finish in game one. That is not the Lady Bronco way however as they collected themselves and turned in a wonderful performance for the 4-3 win.
Cathey led off the second game with a base on balls and eventually scored on a triple off the bat of Mattison Chavez for a quick 1-0 lead. Cathey tallied the second run of the game for Blackfoot in the third inning when she swatted an opposite field double and then scampered home when the Hillcrest first baseman bobbled a throw later in the inning.
Starting pitcher Jessica Capson then helped her own cause in the bottom of the fourth inning when she drove in Horsely with an RBI double for a 3-0 advantage.
An insurance run in the bottom of the sixth sealed the deal for Blackfoot when Miraya Castaneda scored from third when the Hillcrest defense committed their fourth error of the game.
Capson then closed out the game for the win in the top of the seventh, the last out the same Cassie Wood that won the game in the first contest when she induced a lazy fly ball that Cathey tracked down for the final.
"We have a young sophomore on the mound and she took a real beating in her last outing against Skyline and for her to come out here and pitch seven strong innings is great," coach Whitworth said. "She has a lot of confidence and some times she feels like she has to do it all so we took a little time out and reminded her that she has solid defense behind her. She relaxed and got the final two outs that we needed."
Blackfoot (6-6, 2-2) will return to the home diamond today for a double-header with Idaho Falls beginning at 4 P.M.
HILLCREST 11, BLACKFOOT 8
Hillcrest 011 140 4 - 11 13 5
Blackfoot 322 001 0 - 8 9 4
Hillcrest hitting - Mikels 3-4 HR, Wood 1-4 HR 4RBI, Liebel 4-5, Morgan 2-4 (2)2B; pitching - Cassie Wood (W) 7IP 8R 5ER 9H 5K 1BB 1HP
Blackfoot hitting - Caitlyn Cathey 2-4, Mattison Chavez 1-4 3B, Jaime Horsley 2-4; pitching - Makayla Rowsell (L) 7IP 11R 4ER 13H 3K 6BB 1HP
BLACKFOOT 4, HILLCREST 3
Hillcrest 000 000 3 - 3 5 4
Blackfoot 101 101 x - 4 5 1
Hillcrest hitting - Mikels 1-3 2B, Liebel 1-3 2B, Morgan 1-3 2B, Weston 2-3 2B; pitching - Cassie Wood (L) 6IP 4R 1ER 5H 5K 1BB
Blackfoot hitting - Caitlyn Cathey 2-2 2B 2R, Mattison Chavez 1-1 3B, Jessica Capson 1-3 2B; pitching - Jessica Capson (W) 7IP 3R 3ER 5H 7K 3BB