Hampton escaped the sixth inning, getting Kylee Impson to line out sharply to first, then overpowering Webster with an inning-ending strikeout. A hit-by-pitch and a double by Stacey Washington put two Lady Buffs in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but Hampton struck out Vhitney Garner, intentionally walked Selman, got Baylee Dawkins to foul out to the catcher and then got Morgano to ground out to third to end the game.
“We’re a situational hit in the sixth inning, with the line drive that was caught at first, to scoring possibly two to three runs there, which would’ve made it an 8-7 game,” Lady Buffs coach Justin Bond said. “And then we had the tying run at home plate in the seventh inning. So we put ourselves in a position to win, the girls battled the whole way, (but) it didn’t fall our way.”
The Lady Buffs may need better situational hitting, as Bond said before the game pitching ace Selman has been battling back pain. Assuming the pain doesn’t worsen, Bond said, Selman will continue to bat and play shortstop, but she could see her innings restricted in the final weeks of the season to keep her strong for the playoffs.
That likely means more starts for Webster, who settled down after Lewis’ homer, who retired 12 of her final 14 patters and didn’t allow another run through the seventh inning. But while Webster, a freshman, pitched a complete game, she didn’t record a single strikeout.
“Being able to locate the ball in, out, up, down, throwing to the four zones there, will be the best thing for her right now until she can develop a little more velocity,” Bond said of Webster.
“That’s a hard thing for young girls to learn, is to be able to pitch to contact, but make it a quality pitch, and I think she’s starting to learn that.”