REXBURG — Once again the Blackfoot Lady Broncos proved that the game isn't over until its over as Brielle Brower swatted a 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, propelling Blackfoot to a thrilling 6-5 win over Rigby to advance to the state play in game on Saturday.
"I was just looking for a base hit to get Jamie around to home, nothing big just something to help my team out," Brielle Brower said. "We knew that we needed to come out and battle because we all want to make it to the play in game and we want to help our seniors out."
Blackfoot fell behind the Rigby squad 0-2 after the first inning of play as the Lady Trojans, who were fresh off a win over Bonneville, cranked out three base hits against Blackfoot starting pitcher Makayla Rowsell.
Blackfoot responded in the home half of the second inning with a pair of runs themselves, in large part to a trio of fielding errors by the Rigby defense as they hurried their throws against a very aggressive Blackfoot base running attack. Emily Lish had the big blow in the inning when she swatted a 2-out RBI single to plate the first run of the day for the Ladies in Green.
After stranding the bases full in the top of the third inning, Blackfoot then took the lead in the contest in the bottom half of the third. Jessica Capson ignited the Blackfoot attack with a lead off single and then advanced to second on a stolen base. After a Miraya Castaneda single Brielle Brower then plated Capson with a sacrifice fly giving the Lady Broncos their first lead of the game. Castaneda scored moments later on a passed ball for a 4-2 Blackfoot advantage.
Rigby was far from done however as they scored a single run in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings to take a 5-4 lead and put Blackfoots 11 year run at the state tournament in serious jeopardy.
Undaunted the Lady Broncos did what they have done all season by battling back in the final frame. Jessica Capson got the rally started as she lined a single into center field. Castaneda followed with a walk placing runners at first and second with no outs.
One batter later Jamie Horsley drove in Capson with the tying run with an RBI single with Castandeda being called out on third when she tried to go first to third.
After a huddle by the Rigby defense, Brower then turned on the first pitch she was offered, driving the ball down the line past a diving third baseman, scoring Horsley all the way from second base with the game winner.
"I told the girls that they are going to have to pay for my ulcer medication," coach Whitworth said. "When I saw that we had 3-4-5 coming up in the bottom of the inning I thought to myself that this was a great spot for our line up and they did exactly what we want them to do. Jessica did a great job of leading off the inning and Jamie was clutch with that base hit to score her. Unfortunately Chooch (Castaneda) was thrown out but that is how we win ball games by being aggressive. After they called time out I told Brielle and Jamie that there was nobody I'd rather have at two and nobody I would rather have at the plate and I told Brielle she was going to find a hole, which she did and Jamie was scoring the whole way."
Capson, who entered the game in relief of Rowsell in the fifth inning picked up the win as she scattered 4 hits in her time in the circle, as she stymied the Rigby bats.
Karissa Jensen had the only extra base hit for the Broncos as she crushed a pinch hit double to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning.
Blackfoot (12-10) will play on Saturday at 1 P.M. against Skyview at Twin Falls with the winner advancing to next weeks state tournament which will be held in Coeur D' Alene.
BLACKFOOT 6, RIGBY 5
Rigby 200 110 1 - 5 16 5
Blackfoot 022 000 2 - 6 8 0
Rigby hitters - Abby Daw 2-4, Maci Miller 3-5 2B, Randi Andersen 2-4, Esther Prestwich 2-4 2B,HR 3RBI; pitching - Randi Andersen 2IP 4R 2ER 4H 3K 0BB 1HP, Maci Miller (L) 4 2/3IP 2R 2ER 4H 4K 1BB
Blackfoot hitters - Jessica Capson 2-4, Emily Lish 1-2, Brielle Brower 1-2, Karissa Jensen 1-1 2B; pitching - Makayla Rowsell 4IP 4R 4ER 12H 1K 0BB; Jessica Capson (W) 3IP 1R 1ER 4H 2K 1BB