It would be hard to dream up a more dramatic way to sweep a key district doubleheader than the way the Brighton softball team did it Thursday night in Savannah.
After beating Hardin County 4-3 in eight innings in game one, sophomore Brie Howard, one of the hottest hitters around, hit a walk-off three-run homer to give Brighton a wildly entertaining 6-4 win.
Brighton (11-4 overall, 4-0 District 13-AAA) trailed game two 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh. Kelsey Camp and Timily David reached on Hardin County errors to set up Howard’s rocket to left field.
It was Howard’s seventh homer of the season. She has 28 RBIs, four doubles and four triples in 14 games with a gaudy .523 batting average. Howard was a rare 0 for 3 in the game when she stepped to the plate.
“You mess with her and she’s going to get you. You don’t keep throwing it to her,” Brighton head coach Robin Jacobs said. “Right now we’re all hitting well. All of them are walking up there and smacking it. Hitting has not been a problem.”
Avery Billings was 2 for 3 in game two with an RBI and Jade Howard singled in a run.
Katelyn Jones pitched all 15 innings of the doubleheader. She struck out 11, walked four and allowed 15 hits and two earned runs combined to pick up the win in both games.
Brighton led game one 3-0 before Hardin County scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game.
In the top of the eighth Camp moved Mattie Perkins to second base on a sacrifice bunt and Perkins scored when the Hardin County shortstop made an error on a David ground ball.
Hardin County put two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth before Jones worked out of the jam.
Perkins hit a solo homer to centerfield in the fifth to put Brighton ahead 3-0. Jade Howard drove in the other two runs in the fourth inning with a single and Camp was 2 for 3.
“We aren’t the hunted any more,” Jacobs said. “Hardin County is and Dyer County is. Just to go up there and get a split I think you’ve done well. You’ve got that two-hour bus ride then you have to play two games. It’s hard to get a win up there.”
Brighton will be looking to stay perfect in district play when it travels to Munford on Saturday for a 3 p.m. game.