May 23rd, 2018

Holy Cross reclaims 21st District throne

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Holy Cross reclaims 21st District throne
The Cougars with the 21st District championship trophy / photo by Conor Revell

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Sweet revenge. The Holy Cross softball team was stunned by rival Pleasure Ridge Park in the 21st District championship game last year.

The ninth-ranked Cougars learned from that experience, made sure it didn't happen again, and used a complete team performance to dispatch host PRP 6-0 to win their fifth district championship in six years.

"We knew we laid down last year and that we didn't play our best game," Holy Cross head coach Tony Young said. "They didn't hit and they didn't field. That's what happens when you don't win. Tonight, we played great defense, we hit the ball from top to bottom, and we won the game."

Bella Velez hit a three-run bomb and Carson Goatley blasted a two-run home run as Holy Cross pounded out 10 hits.

"Maddi did a great job of getting on and getting things started, she hit the ball really well tonight," Goatley said. "I remember getting a low pitch and I jumped on the first ball I saw and it carried over the fence."

Maddi Gailor (3 for 3), Goatley (2 for 2, reached base three times, HR and three RBIs),and Velez (2 for 3, HR, and three RBIs) combined for 70-percent of their team hits.

"They did a good job of hitting," Young said. Maddi got on base every time she hit and scored three runs. We had good at bats from top to bottom in the lineup. We hit the ball hard. Sometimes they dropped for hits, sometimes they were hit directly at the fielder, and we had two big home runs."

Goatley pitched a complete game for the Cougars and only allowed two hits, struck out 10, walked one, and plunked one.

"I threw a bunch of inside pitches and curveballs," Goatley said. "My changeup was working really good, but none of that would helped without the help of my defense. They did great tonight."

Mackenzi Luckett pitched the six innings the Panthers took the field and gave up six runs, 10 hits, and struck out two.

Holy Cross wasted no time attacking Luckett. Maddi Gailor led off with an infield single and Goatley blasted the next pitch over the left-center-fence making it 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. 

Holy Cross made it 3-0 in the third. Gailor led off with an infield single and moved to second on a PRP throwing error.

Goatley then singled home Gailor.

The Cougars iced the game in the fifth. Kailey Reed single, Gailor followed with a single, and Goatley moved the duo to second and third.

Velez then punished Luckett with a three-run bomb over the center-field fence to make it a 6-0 game.

"It all started with my teammates," Velez said. "Kailey got a hit, Maddi got a hit, and Carson went up there with a plan and moved them over to second and third. I then did my job - it was an 0-2 pitch and I think she missed her spot and it was inside and I turned on it."

Both teams advance to next week's Sixth Region Tournament. The Cougars will host a district champion while PRP will travel to a district runner-up. All first-round games will start at 11 a.m. Monday. The draw will be held Saturday.

"It's not that big of a deal," Young said. "It's nice to come out here and take care of business. It will be nice to play at home versus having to go on the road. We get a familiar environment to play in."


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