Walker pitcher Katelynn McKenzie reached the end of a Parkview Baptist lineup Monday evening that had 14 hits and the go-ahead runner on at first base in the ninth inning.
Instead of the prospect of having to pitch to PBS’ dangerous leadoff hitter Nicky Dawson, McKenzie coaxed a pop up from Hanah Fontenot that second baseman Madison Monson squeezed for the final out in an 8-7 nondistrict victory.
“We saw who was on deck, and we knew that we needed that out,” Walker coach Nicole Dufour said. “We were looking for a pop fly or a fly out with a kid on deck who can do it all.”
Walker (15-9) trailed 3-0 after three innings, forced extra innings on Whitney Sullivan’s two-run, bloop single in the seventh and didn’t lead until Brooklyn Giovingo’s RBI-double to left field in the ninth.
For the Wildcats, it’s become a reoccurring theme with comeback wins over Denham Springs and Hahnville last week.
“As a team we have that ‘don’t die’ mentality we’ve kind of been operating with, and everyone’s kind of buying into that,” Dufour said. “If we do get down two, three or 10 runs we keep fighting because we know we play until the end.”
Catcher Hailey Weems (4-for-5) led off the ninth for PBS (22-6) with a single and moved to second on Taylor Spencer’s one-out sacrifice.
McKenzie issued her first walk of the game to Nicole Simmons before finishing her 141-pitch outing (98 for strikes) with an infield popup.
“You definitely want that kid at the plate in any game winning situation,” PBS coach Ashlee Weems said of Dawson, who was 3-of-4 with a triple. “But some of these kids have to step up, and sometimes it’s going to have to be a different kid. This time it didn’t work.”
PBS took a 6-4 lead into the seventh after a two-out, RBI single from Morgan Acosta, who had four hits and drove in a pair of runs.
Walker, led by Mattie Ort’s four hits, scored six of its eight runs with two outs, including Sullivan’s game-tying hit in the seventh, before Giovingo’s double — her first hit of the game — followed an error and walk.
Spencer, an eighth-grader, took the loss for PBS after throwing 162 pitches. She yielded 11 hits, seven earned runs, walked eight and fanned four.
“It is a young team and I’ve put them under a lot of pressure playing some good teams,” Ashlee Weems said. “I’m sure it stings a little bit. They’ll grow from it.”