Sophomore first baseman Taylor Fair came up with the big hit and placed a controversial game-ending tag on a Lakota West baserunner to secure a 3-1 victory against its school district rival at the Hawks Nest Thursday.
The big hit occurred in the bottom of the fifth, with the score tied 1-1, Fair drove in two runs with her two-out single up the middle.
The win snaps a four-game losing streak against Lakota West and gives the Thunderhawks sole possession of first place in the Greater Miami Conference.
After the game, Lakota East head coach Steve Castner downplayed the significance of the win.
“It is so early in the year,” Castner said. “We still have to see a lot of tough opponents, so it is nice to get a win whoever it is against. It doesn’t really matter because we just want to win.”
The win, however, did feature a controversial finish when the home plate umpire overruled the base umpire on the final out of the game.
With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Lakota West sophomore Kat Burbrink grounded the ball to Lakota East shortstop Alyssa Grevenkamp. The senior’s throw was high and in front of the bag, forcing Fair to catch the ball then tag Burbrink.
“I had a good view of the play and I clearly saw that she got the tag,” said Castner, who is in dugout right by first base. “The base umpire, with the position he was in, couldn’t change his call, but the home plate umpire clearly saw it.”
Meanwhile, standing along the third baseline, Lakota West head coach Keith Castner was upset to see the game end on a reversed call.
“When I heard my first base coach say that the base umpire said, ‘she totally missed her,’ that sparked me back up,” Keith Castner said. “I know that it is only one play, but it is the top of the seventh and we have our No. 3 batter coming up. You never know what might happen.
“But, in the end, they scored more runs than us tonight.”
BOX – W-Buckenmyer (13-2, 6 K’s). L-Sharp (13-4, 5 K’s). LE-Astrop 2B, Grevenkamp 2B, RBI, Fair 2 RBIs. LW-Sharp RBI. Records: LE 16-2, 11-1 in GMC. LW 15-5, 10-2 in GMC.