Helena posts big rally to defeat Brookwood

Published 11:12 am Saturday, March 2, 2024

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By TYLER RALEY | Special to the Reporter

BROOKWOOD – The Helena Huskies rallied from being down five runs on Thursday, Feb. 29, using late momentum to take down the Brookwood Panthers 10-6 in extra innings on the road.

The Huskies got off to a positive start, though, before the trouble began.

Presley Lively got the day started with a leadoff double into left field. After Brookwood secured its first out on the next batter, Emma Olive pushed Lively in with a line drive single into right field. Just like that, Helena was up 1-0.

The home half of the first saw the Huskies surrender a leadoff walk, and after recording an out, they gave up a two-run homer to Kennedy Childers. The Panthers answered quickly to go up 2-1, and they were not finished.

Holtzclaw would then surrender another walk, hit a batter and another Panther would load the bases by virtue of a Helena fielding error. Trystin Hannah then hit an infield single to score in another run and Bailey Garner got a free pass, walking in another run.

Just like that, Holtzclaw’s day was over and Brookwood was up 4-1 in the opening inning.

Helena was quiet offensively in the second and third innings, not answering the surge that the Panthers had early on. Brookwood took this opportunity to make some more noise.

In the bottom of the third with two outs and the bases loaded, Shelby Meador drew a walk to bring in another run, followed up by a Kailee Lacey single to make it a 6-1 Panther lead.

After a lackluster fourth inning from both sides, the Huskies began to make their move.

Following a leadoff strikeout in the top of the fifth, Izabel Vice and Lively strung together back-to-back singles to put some pressure on Brookwood. Sure enough, it worked.

After a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners, Olive blasted a three-run moonshot over the center field wall, decreasing the deficit to just two runs at 6-4.

The Huskies shut down the Panthers in both the fifth and sixth innings, giving them an opportunity to make magic in the seventh. As Helena showed in Tuesday’s comeback bid against Chelsea, it is not afraid of being down and it showed.

After a leadoff single by Vice and a ground out by Lively, Cammi Pugh sent a line drive into center field for a double, scoring Vice. Olive immediately followed that up with an RBI double of her own, tying the game up at 6-6 in the final inning of regulation.

The Husky defense shut down Brookwood in the bottom half, securing extra softball for a team that looked out of it in the early going.

Helena would carry that momentum into the top of the eighth and waste no time, as Henley Traywick hit a leadoff home run with two strikes, giving her team the lead.

After Hayden Traywick followed her sister up with a single into right field, Vice continued her fantastic night with another single of her own. This setup Lively to put the nail in the coffin as she launched a three-run home run to right field, giving the Huskies a 10-6 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Helena slammed the door, going three up, three down and ending with a strikeout from Hayden Traywick.

Hayden Traywick earned the win after the rough start from Holtzclaw, pitching seven and two-thirds innings. She struck out three batters, giving up just two earned runs but walking five.

The Huskies improve to 13-1 on the season with the win and will look to improve on their four-game win streak when they travel to Mountain Brook on Monday, March 4 at 5 p.m.