Keller wins with walk-off home run in the 8th
Entering Monday night, Keller and Eaton came in ranked No. 1 and 2 among Dallas-Fort Worth Class 6A teams, according to DFW Fast Pitch.
With two of the top pitchers in the area on the mound and a combined four home runs, the game lived up to the hype.
Down to their final strike, the Indians tied the game with an Alexa Langeliers single to center in the bottom of the seventh and Hailey Jones blasted a walk-off home run to right center in the eighth for a 4-3 victory over the Eagles in a District 5-6A matchup.
“I expected a great game, pitching wise. I heard a lot of things about Maddy Wright, think she did a great job in the circle,” Jones said. “I was looking for anything on the plate. I was looking for a base hit and she gave me an inside change up and I knew I had to turn and attack it as hard as I could. It was a great feeling.”
Keller improves to 15-3-1 overall and 3-0 in district. Eaton dropped its first game of the season (15-1, 2-1).
“It means a lot to each and every one of us,” Jones said. “The end goal is to go back to state and we strive to get closer and closer.”
“Both teams have been working really hard especially up to this point. It was a great game between two really good teams,” added Texas Tech commit Riley Love.
Tessa Galipeau scored on a sacrifice fly from Jones in the second to give Keller a 1-0 lead, but Eaton tied it an inning later when Texas Tech commit Kennedy Crites belted her first career home run to right center.
ACU signee Maddy Wright, who struck out eight batters for Eaton, gave the Eagles the lead with an RBI double in the fourth.
Love tied it with a home run to left in the sixth, but Texas Southern commit Audry Fleming hit the go-ahead home run to center in the top of the seventh for the Eagles.
Keller senior and Indiana signee Caraline Woodall drew a lead-off walk in the bottom half of the frame and advanced to third on an Amanda DeSario bunt and Brooke Davis grounder to short.
Facing a 1-2 count with two outs, Langeliers, who struck out looking her previous two at-bats, drilled an outside fast ball up the middle to tie the game at 3-3.
“Going into the final at bat, I knew how much the team was depending on me and I just knew that I had to make something happen,” she said. “I was looking for something outside that I could go with and she threw me all outside. All I wanted was contact to score Caraline and I was determined to not let my team down especially after my previous at bats.”
Dylann Kaderka picked up the win for the Indians, allowing five hits and striking out three in the complete game.
The two teams will play at Eaton on April 5.