Lady Wildcats State Champs

First baseman Becca Benton (left) and catcher Isabelle Johnson embrace after Saturday’s championship victory. -Jennifer Kirk

First baseman Becca Benton (left) and catcher Isabelle Johnson embrace after Saturday’s championship victory. -Jennifer Kirk

Just as they’ve done all season, Hayden overpowered their opponents going 4-0 on their way to winning the 2019 5A state championship. The Lady Wildcats outscored their opponents (Satsuma, Ardmore, John Carroll, and Rehobeth) 36-15 to bring home the school’s first softball state title since 2013.

Up 3-0 going into the seventh inning against Rehobeth, Lindsey Smith launched a two-run homer giving the Wildcats a 5-0 advantage. Behind the strong pitching of Miah Simmons, that’s all they needed to bring the blue trophy back home.

Simmons had all the right stuff pitching a complete game shut out allowing only three hits over seven innings, while Smith (2-4) and Kaitlyn Belding (2-4) led the Wildcats at the plate. Hannah Cox also drove in two runs on a one-for-three showing.

Smith was named Class 5A State Tournament MVP. Her homerun was the team’s 76th on the season. Joining Smith on the 5A All-State Tournament Team were Isabelle Johnson and Cox.

The Wildcats opened tournament play with an 8-6 victory over Satsuma. Down 5-6 late in the top of the seventh, Johnson homered scoring three runs. That was Johnson’s second homer of the game. Simmons got the win going five and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits, and striking out three. Cox threw one and a third innings in relief. The Wildcats had a total of 10 hits throughout the game. Cox (2-4), Johnson (2-4), and Taylor Yeager (2-2) each racked up multiple hits.

Coaches John Simmons and Kim Hargett hug it out after leading the Lady Wildcats to a state championship. -Jennifer Kirk

Coaches John Simmons and Kim Hargett hug it out after leading the Lady Wildcats to a state championship. -Jennifer Kirk

Next, the Wildcats faced Ardmore and came away with the 10-6 victory. In a back-and-forth game, the Wildcats scored four runs in the third thanks to a homerun by Belding and an RBI ground-out by Smith. The Wildcats took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth inning. Becca Benton hit a solo homer, Gracie Benton singled on a 3-2 count, scoring one, and Smith doubled on a 1-2 count, scoring one run.

Simmons earned the victory going four innings, allowing one hit and one run. Savannah Painter threw one inning in relief. The Wildcats tallied 15 hits. Johnson (3-4) and Smith(3-5) led the Wildcats at the plate.

This led to a matchup with John Carroll. Savannah Woodard was in the zone tallying four hits and leading the Wildcats to a 13-3 victory. She singled in the first, singled in the second, doubled in the third, and singled in the fifth. Smith was strong at the plate as well, driving in two runs on her first inning homer. She hit another one in the fifth. Johnson followed up with another homerun in the sixth. The Wildcats had 14 hits with Woodard (4-5) leading the way.

Simmons pitched great going six innings, allowing only three runs.

The Lady Wildcats finish their championship season with a record of 45-5. They lose only two seniors, so the program seems set up to be a contender for years to come.