Mariah Denson provided offense, defense and pitching, and did it all while barely able to walk on a bad ankle.
Behind Denson, Mansfield Timberview scratched out a 3-1 victory Friday at Richland, giving the Wolves a sweep of their Class 5A Region I semifinal series.
“Clutch,” Timberview coach Donya Mooney said of Denson. “She’s an unbelievable athlete with a lot of heart and when the game is on the line, you just always feel like she’s going to come through.”
Denson picked up her 25th victory of the season (with just three losses), limiting the Rebels to just a first-inning run. She only struck out two, but held Richland to just four hits.
To help herself offensively, she provided an RBI single in the first inning, and her single in the seventh turned into an insurance run. Denson entered the game nursing an ankle injury she suffered last week.
“It feels bad,” Denson said after the game. “It’s like sharp pain in the heel. And when I landed on it, there was tightness in it.”
Before she even entered the circle, Denson gave herself a lead. After Baylea Higgs led off the game with a single, Denson plated her on a base hit.
Richland (30-10) answered in the home first, though. Senior pitcher Haley Freyman drew a two-out walk. Courtesy runner Cali Parks eventually made her way to third and scored on a passed ball to make it 1-1.
Timberview (29-6) broke the tie in the fourth. After Mayriah Brown reached on error, Chelsea Luddeke’s RBI single made it 2-1.
The Wolves added an insurance run in the seventh. Denson’s deep line drive allowed her to trot to first base, where she was replaced by Hannah Kirkpatrick. Ashley Timmons followed with a double to plate Kirkpatrick to round out the scoring.