Playoff softball is never without drama, and the 14-10 victory Tuesday by the 10th-ranked Tau Delta Chi Kangaroos over the sixth-ranked Pi Delta Chi Classics lived up to the hype.
The Kangas jumped out of the gates quickly, putting up four runs in the top of the first inning. The Kangas worked walks and hustled out infield singles before a three-run triple by freshman Morgan Dowden gave them an early lead they would not relinquish. The Classics were able to plate two runs in the bottom half of the inning to temporarily close the gap to 4-2.
It did not take long, however, for the Kangas to extend their lead in the second inning. The Classics’ pitchers had trouble finding the strike zone, and the Kangas were able to bat around twice in the inning as they tallied 10 runs to take a commanding 14-2 lead.
The Classics, however, would not go away. Thanks to several timely hits and a few Kanga errors, the Classics added five runs of their own to shorten the lead to 14-7.
In the top of the third, the Kangas were shut down quickly without having another runner cross the plate. The Classics capitalized, scoring three more runs on the strength of a two-run bomb by sophomore Kelly Ward to close the gap to 14-10 heading into the fourth and final inning of play.
The Kangas again were unable to score in their half of the fourth inning. Because society softball games have a one-hour limit, the bottom of the fourth inning was the last chance for the Classics to advance in the playoffs.
Ward heightened the drama by leading off with a single. However, a fielder’s choice and a pop-up later, and the Classics were down to their last out. Sophomore Morgan McCarty lined a shot straight up the middle, but junior pitcher Bethany Williams speared it for the final out of the night.
With the win, Tau Delta Chi advanced to a quarterfinal matchup with the third-ranked Theta Delta Omicron Tigers Thursday night.