It took eleven innings of nail-biting softball but the Lady Brahmans are advancing to the regional semifinals.
Okeechobee’s own ‘cardiac kids’ pulled off a dramatic walk-off 2-1 playoff victory over the Olympic Heights Lady Lions in the regional quarterfinals in Okeechobee on May 8.
The game was tied 0-0 for the first five innings until the Lady Lions took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth.
Things were looking dire for Okeechobee late in the game. Despite getting seven runners on base the Lady Brahmans had left all of them stranded throughout the first six innings.
Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Lady Brahman Halle McDuffie blasted a lead off double to put herself in scoring position. Lillian Henry then followed that up with an RBI single that brought McDuffie home and knotted things up 1-1.
That clutch score guaranteed the game would go into extra innings.
What followed was four innings of tense, nerve-racking softball that had the big home crowd at Okeechobee High School on the proverbial edge of their seats.
Lady Brahman Haley Underhill remained on the mound throughout the game for Okeechobee and always seemed to be able to work herself out of any jams. But Okeechobee still had a close call in the top of the ninth.
Olympic Heights already had a runner on second base when a Lady Lion batter connected on a ball that found the ground in the outfield. OHS outfielder McDuffie reached that ball in time to make the throw to home as the Lady Lion runner rounded third. The ball was thrown a little too high but Lady Brahman catcher Janel Aponte was able to make a leaping grab and come down right in front of the Olympic Heights baserunner to get the out and preserve the 1-1 tie.
In the bottom of the eleventh Okeechobee was able to load the bases with two singles by McDuffie and Lillan Henry and a walk by Lauren Sills.
That brought Underhill to that plate.
Haley went down in the count 0-2 before connecting on an RBI single to bring home McDuffie and send the Lady Brahmans to the next round in the regional playoffs.
Okeechobee now will move on to face Dwyer in the regional semifinals on May 14.
Dwyer has an impressive 24-4 record so far and is coming off an 8-0 shutout of South Fork in their regional quarterfinal matchup on May 8. When Dwyer faced the same Olympic Heights team on May 7, they were able to survive a late rally to come away with the 3-2 victory.
Okeechobee will be travel to take on the Dwyer Lady Panthers at Dwyer High School at 7 p.m. on May 14.