HOUSTON – The Lady Toppers' success has continued into the post-season as they swept the second round of the playoffs last week against the Independence Wildcats.
The Lady Toppers were sluggish to begin the second game, but they soon found their rhythm and it all culminated in a walkoff grand slam by PJ Cooper, which won the game 10-0 in six innings. Cooper also had five RBI's.
Cooper was the obvious hero of the game, and she went two for three at the plate, and she came through when it mattered.
“She just kept plugging away,” said head coach Derick Kirby. “You just kept thinking, because she was fouling off so many solid balls, you were thinking at any point she was going to straighten one out, and right there at the end she did. She kept her head down on it and it was just a perfect drive to the ball, and she couldn't have painted it over center field any better. That's just how she's been all year, if it looks kind of sluggish early, she's going to find a way to go .500 seems like every game.”
However, Cooper was not the only offensive playmaker in the game.
Senior pitcher Paige Kilgore, aside from pitching a scoreless game, had three hits and three RBI's on the night, though she never crossed the plate herself as a courtesy runner was put in for her in the form of Haylie Ellison.
Blakely Gill and Sydney Bean were the only other two players with hits, with one each. They both had an RBI each as well.
The courtesy runner for Gill, Heather Blakely, was a force to be reckoned with on the bags, stealing bases with ease, and crossing the plate three times.
Lulu McNease and Anna Claire Kirby along with Makinzi Moore all crossed the plate at least once.
Kilgore's pitching was, as mentioned, outstanding. She threw a total of 64 pitches and only allowed two hits and no runs. She struck out 12 of the 18 batters she faced as well.
The Lady Toppers advanced to the third round this past weekend, where they faced off against Kossuth.
However, their season came to an end at 23-4 as they were swept by the Lady Aggies.