The Eastside softball team took home the Region 4-AAAA championship Wednesday night after defeating the Woodward Academy War Eagles 11-1.
“This is something that we’ve been looking forward to and wanting to be in this position, in this game,” said Eastside head coach Heather Wood after the game. “We’re excited to bring a region championship back to the school, and most importantly, I think we’re excited to be in a better position for postseason next week.”
After a 1-1 start to the game, the Eagles were hit with adversity when their own Molly Moon left the game at the start of the second inning after dislocating her elbow while attempting to slide to home plate. Despite being visibly shaken, the team held its composure, scoring five runs in the inning off seven hits.
“It’s tough when things like that happen,” Wood said of Moon’s injury. “It’s to maintain focus. It’s hard to have that drive to compete, but I was very pleased with their performance and how they handled themselves in that situation.”
The Eagles turned up the notch in the third, with every batter in rotation making it to first base from either a hit or a walk. The team notched eight hits in the inning, with one coming from Madison McCrorey, who filled in for Moon. The Eagles grabbed five more runs for the 11-1 lead.
“Our bats came alive,” Wood said. “I felt like we settled in. I could tell we were a little anxious in the beginning. I think we know how important this game was for us, especially for next week. Once we settled, I think they got in a groove and were able to come out and produce more runs.”
Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but when the War Eagles failed to notch a run in the top of the fifth inning, the umpires called game, sealing the victory and the championship for the Eagles.
Pitcher Lauren Beshears came away with seven strikeouts in the game and held the War Eagles to just four hits in the game compared to Eastside’s 16. After Woodward grabbed a run in the first inning off one of her pitches, she settled down in the rest of the game to try and keep them off base.
“I told her to focus on the batter, slow it down, and throw what has been working well during her warm up,” Wood said of Beshears. “The big thing is that things were just moving too quickly, so sometimes if you just slow it down against the batter and focus on the batter, things usually tend to go your way.”
Eastside will be a No. 1 seed heading into the postseason, which begins Wed., Oct. 12.