Sixth inning rally lifts Lady Broncos to conference championship
POCATELLO — In a classic pitchers duel, the Blackfoot Lady Broncos emerged victorious on Wednesday evening as they tallied four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 4-2 win over a very game Pocatello squad, wrapping up an undefeated conference season and with it a 4A High Country Conference Championship.
"This was really important to me," Blackfoot's lone senior Jessica Capson said. "My whole objective this year was bringing a district championship back to Blackfoot. I'm excited to go kick some butt at state now to."
Morningrose Tobey got the start in the circle for the Lady Broncos and the sensational sophomore matched Pocatello's ace pitcher Alex Kordopatis pitch-for-pitch throughout the game.
After three scoreless innings Pocatello where able to break through against Tobey however as they scored 2 runs in the top of the fourth on three singles and a rare error by the Blackfoot defense.
With the lead, the Lady Indians turned the ball over to Kordopatis and she was up to the challenge as she carried a no hitter into the bottom of the sixth inning.
"I was telling them, all of you girls look like your swinging for the fences and all they had to do was wait for the ball to come and don't try to kill it," Blackfoot head coach Matt Chavez said. "It's contagious though. And once we start hitting everyone starts hitting and that was good for us."
The hitting started with Jessica Capson as the senior led by example with a lead off single that came after falling behind in the count 0-2.
"I just wanted to get on base because I knew that Matti was going to hit me in no matter what," Capson said. "I just kind of threw my hands at the ball and hit it into a gap and as soon as I got on base I knew that my team mates were going to back me up."
Mattison Chavez certainly backed up Capson as she laced an RBI triple off of the fence in the left field gap. Tobey tied the game one pitch later when she sent an RBI single to centerfield and advanced to third when Madison Leslie sent a ball to the left field fence that bounced out of the Pocatello left fielders glove.
Ashlyn Beers gave the Lady Broncos the lead with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Tobey and Cassandra Clarke gave the Lady Broncos an insurance run with a two strike, two out RBI single moments later.
"I knew that the sixth was our inning. We had to get it done in that inning for we would have been in a tough spot," coach Chavez said. "I just kept thinking three runs. Get three runs and we are set and we wound up getting four."
Pocatello responded with a lead off double in the top of the seventh but a ground ball to Leslie at first, a pop up to Tobey at pitcher and a pop up to Sami MacFee at second slammed the door on the comeback attempt as the Lady Broncos celebrated their most recent district championship.
"I know that we had a few issues in the softball program and the program kind of went down for a while but now we've brought the trophy back, back to Blackfoot like we wanted to," coach Chavez said. "Hopefully we can bring back another trophy from state."
Blackfoot (21-1) will now travel to Post Falls for the 4A state championship tournament and will open their run at a state title with a game at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 17.
"I like our chances," coach Chavez said. "They are a fantastic group of girls. I'm just so excited for them."
BLACKFOOT 4, POCATELLO 2
Pocatello 000 200 0 - 2 4 3
Blackfoot 000 004 x - 4 4 1
Pocatello hitters - M. Nalley 1-2 R, P. Jorgenson 1-3 RBI, K. Moser 2-3 2B. pitching - A. Kordopatis (L) 6IP 4R 3ER 4H 11K 0BB HP.
Blackfoot hitters - J. Capson 1-3 R, M. Chavez 1-3 3B RBI R, M. Tobey 1-3 RBI R, C. Clarke 1-2 RBI. pitching - M. Tobey (W) 7IP 2R 1ER 4H 7K 0BB HP.