Dream moment for Davis
First baseman boosts Cats’ win over Tonganoxie team
It was one of those moments you always hear about -- two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning with a runner in scoring position and the score tied 3-3.
De Soto first baseman Jen Davis walked into a dream. A chance to be a hero. A chance to knock in the winning run.
Davis was up to the challenge with a double to centerfield that scored shortstop Jara Mori and gave the Wildcats a momentum-boosting 4-3 triumph over Kaw Valley foe Tonganoxie.
"I was nervous," Davis said of the waning moments before she stepped up to the plate. "But coach (Kelly Dennis) made me feel confident. She just told me to stay back on the ball. Their pitchers were slower than what we were used to seeing, so she said to stay back on the ball. I just hit the ball."
Following her heroics, Davis was just happy it all worked out well for her team and her coach.
"I'm just glad I didn't let the team down," she said." I'm happy that coach is happy."
Dennis wasn't the only member of the Wildcat softball program who had confidence in Davis' ability to knock in the winning run. Mori knew her teammate was about ready to bring her home.
"Jen was on fire," Mori said of Davis who was 2-for-3 going into her game-winning at bat. "I knew she was going to bring me home. It was a great feeling that we were able to get the win."
Davis, who finished the game with three RBIs and a run scored, also played a key role in the first inning when the Wildcats took a 2-0 advantage.
With two outs, centerfielder Allie Heinen reached base when the Chieftain third baseman couldn't handle the ground ball Heinen steered toward her.
Davis then gave Wildcat fans a taste of what they would see six innings later by ripping a stand-up triple down the third base line and scoring Heinen.
Carrie Buser gave De Soto a two-run lead when she hit a grounder up the middle and scored Davis.
De Soto took a 3-0 lead in the third inning when Mori led off with a double that one-hopped the left field fence. Davis then brought Mori in three batters and two outs later, giving Wildcat starting pitcher Emily Baker a little breathing room.
Tonganoxie came back in the fourth and fifth innings with three runs of its own.
Chieftain first baseman Addie Heim led off the fourth frame with a single to left field. A perfectly placed bunt sacrificed Heim to second base, and a single up the middle scored Heim.
A De Soto error and a stand-up triple by Heim in the fifth allowed the Chieftains to tie the game 3-3.
Despite all the drama in the first game, the Wildcats knew their work was just half over.
But Davis said the first-game wasn't forgotten as the Wildcats scored a 15-3 five-inning blowout over the previously 10-8 Chieftains in the nightcap.
"Our attitude definitely carried over into the next game," Davis said. "Especially with me and my confidence."
De Soto took an early 3-0 lead again in the second game, but the outcome was different this time around.
The Chieftains did get within 3-1 in the top half of the third inning, but De Soto answered with four more runs in the bottom of the third frame, taking a 7-1 lead after each team was called out nine times.
The Wildcats added three more tallies in the fourth inning and five more in the fifth, forcing an early end to the game. Tonganoxie scored two runs in the fifth, but it wasn't enough as De Soto rolled.
Davis led De Soto by going 5-of-8 from the plate, scoring two runs and knocking in four RBIs.
Nicole Husted was 4-of-7, including an inside the park two-run homerun that ended the second game, scored three runs and knocking in three more runs.
Kira Gonzalez was 3-for-5 and scored a pair of runs. Jenny Hill was 3-for-6, scored a run, and was credited for driving in three runs.
Mori was 3-for-8, scored four runs and was credited for an RBI. Allie Heinen was 1-for-7, scored three runs and knocked three more in.
Emily Baker was 1-for-4 and scored two runs. Carrie Buser scored two runs and knocked in two RBIs.
The Chieftains managed only 10 hits total in the two-game series while De Soto was 20-for-56 in the twin bill.
Baker and Heinen each earned a win in the doubleheader.
Baker, 4-7 on the year, gave up six hits and two earned runs in seven innings of action. She walked one batter and struck out another, while throwing 75 pitches.
Heinen improved her record to 3-2 on the year after giving up four hits and three earned runs in five innings. She walked two batters and struck out two, while throwing 69 pitches.
De Soto (7-9) plays Thursday at Atchison with the first game of the doubleheader slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. De Soto begins regional play Monday.
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