MURFREESBORO – Ninth grader Avary Stockwell led off the bottom of the seventh with a dramatic walk-off home run to lift Green Hill to an 8-7 victory over Daniel Boone High in Friday’s Class 4A state championship game at Sportsplex.
“That wasn’t our best game, but we won and that’s all that matters,” said Green Hill coach Savannah Sanders. “I knew it was going to be a dog fight, Daniel Boone can put up some runs, but I told the girls we needed to find a way to put up one more.”
Green Hill closed the season 44-2 and winners in each of their last 40 games.
Daniel Boone (35-9-2) opened Spring Fling 30 with a 5-3 loss to Henry County, then eliminated in order Riverdale 9-4, Arlington 6-2, Henry County 12-1 and Nolensville 9-5 before falling to Green Hill in the finals.
Unchallenged in the three games leading up to the title bout, the Lady Hawks overcame some uncharacteristic defensive lapses with gutty pitching and homers from Stockwell, Emily Legrand, Maddie McIntyre and Kendall Davis.
“I think our pitching was pretty good, our defense wasn’t great and maybe that was nerves being on this stage for the first time, but our hitting was on point,” Sanders said.
“So that’s two out of three and that was enough today.”
Daniel Boone scored in the top of the first inning on a two-out double off the bat of Kyleigh Bacon that chased home a pair of runs off starter Sophia Waters.
Green Hill responded in the bottom of the first with a three-run home run to center by McIntyre, scoring Cadence Jarrett and Legrand who had reached on walks.
The Lady Hawks put up a three-spot in the second as Davis led off the inning with a line drive home run and two outs later Legrand belted a two-run homer that scored Lillie Buckley who had reached on a walk.
The Blazers cut the lead to 6-4 in the third when Ava Saul lined a two-out double to right that pushed home two runners.
Green Hill padded the lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly to center that allowed pinch-runner Lowry Bockweg to score from third. Bockweg was running for Maliyah Wilkins, who had reached base on a walk.
There was no scoring in the fourth and fifth innings, but Daniel Boone pulled even in the top of the sixth on a two-run double to center by pinch-hitter Sadie Henson that just went over the head of Jarrett who crashed through the temporary outfield barrier. The Blazers added a two-out RBI single by Kayleigh Quesinberry to even the score at 7-7.
Green Hill couldn’t score in their half of the sixth, but Waters retired Daniel Boone in order in the top of the seventh to set up Stockwell’s heroics.
“I knew after Sophia got them out in the seventh, we’d have our 3, 4 and 5 hitters coming up in the seventh and all three could change the game with just one swing,” Sanders said.
“I’m glad Avary got it done, she’s earned this moment and it caps off a great freshman year for her.”
Stockwell was hitless in three previous at bats prior to her seventh inning blast.
“I was just trying to keep it simple,” Stockwell said. “I knew I had to get a hard hit somewhere and get on base for Maddie and the girls behind me. I think it was a curve that was a little bit off the plate. This is crazy. I’m so excited for us to win the first team state championship for our school.”
Green Hill’s seven-hole hitter Davis finished 3-for-3 while Jarrett and Legrand each had a pair of hits.
Bacon and Saul doubled and singled for Daniel Boone and drove in a pair of runs apiece.
A complete box score is available at tssaasports.com/event/results.cfm?id=119133.