Written by Matt Wixon
Lovejoy outlasts Richmond Foster in 12 innings, advances to 4A state softball finals
AUSTIN -- Lovejoy needed to get three outs in the seventh inning Friday to put away Richmond Foster in a Class 4A semifinal. In the eighth inning, Lovejoy was one strike away.
Finally, after the game had gone well past three hours and into the 12 inning, Lovejoy got what it really needed: another hit from an unlikely hero.
Sophomore Katie Curry, Lovejoy’s final hitter in the lineup, singled home a run to ignite a five-run rally in Lovejoy’s 10-5 victory at Red and Charline McCombs Field.
“My coaches always tell me that confidence is the key, and it really is,” Curry said. “I just told myself I was going to hit it, and I did.”
Amanda Gray’s two-out liner to left got away from the Foster left fielder to score two more runs in the 12. Jaclyn Willis sent another two runs home with a single, and Lovejoy (35-8) got the final three outs to earn a matchup with Buda Hays (31-10) in the championship game Saturday at1 p.m.
Lovejoy took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but Foster (31-5) tied the score on Kristen Clark’s homer. After Curry and her sister, senior leadoff hitter Sammi Curry, had back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the eighth, Lovejoy had a 5-3 lead in the bottom half. But with two outs and the count full, Kelbi Fortenberry smashed a game-tying homer to center.
Before that, the game’s biggest collisions had worked in Lovejoy’s favor. In the top of the third, Gray ripped a homer well over the left-field fence to give Lovejoy a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Lovejoy center fielder Danielle Brochu and left fielder Ginger Hervey collided while chasing a liner into the gap, but Brochu made the catch.
Hervey needed a minute before getting up, but she continued playing.
“For them both to get back up that fast in that situation,” Lovejoy coach Amanda Douglas said, “I think it tells you the kind of competitors these girls are.”
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter @mattwixon.