Bogue Chitto Lady Bobcats advance to state championship series
Another championship run has been a long time coming for Bogue Chitto.
To be exact, it has been six years since the Bobcats last competed for a 1A slow-pitch softball title.
Head coach Scott Leggett and his team moved yet another step closer to the hardware Tuesday night by winning a hard fought three-game series over the visiting Sebastopol Bobcats.
“It was a battle. That was by far the toughest Bogue Chitto-Sebastopol series that I have ever coached in,” he said after the series-clinching win in Game 3.
With the victory, Leggett earned his sixth slow-pitch South State title and an opportunity to coach in a sixth championship series.
“It’s great getting back to the state championship. God has blessed me with some great girls over the years,” Leggett said. “These girls played hard and they deserve it.”
Both teams flaunted some power hitting throughout the series, but junior first baseman Reagan Kirkland stole the show and was easily the Most Valuable Player.
Kirkland finished the night with three home runs, two of which were grand slams, and nine RBIs. Also hitting home runs in the series were Kylie Chapman, Cherie Savoie and Codi Leggett.
Leggett may not have had the biggest night statistically, but she put on an inspiring display of toughness and championship resiliency.
The shortstop suffered an apparent leg injury in Game 2 of the series after attempting to run down a fly-ball, and was in obvious pain the remainder of the night.
Coaches and trainers inquired about the shortstop’s health several times, but she could be seen giving a nod of approval each time. She grimaced through the pain until the final out was made, continuing to hold her own on defense. Just to prove her toughness, Leggett crushed a ball for a grand slam in Game 3 to give Bogue Chitto a 7-2 lead in the third inning.
The victory was truly a team effort on the part of the Bobcats.
“We are beat up a little bit, but I told them that being a champion is not easy. You have to be able to battle through some stuff,” Leggett said.
Game1: Bogue Chitto 12, Sebastapol 9
Fans were treated to a thrilling, nail-biting contest in the opening game of the South State series.
It took Bogue Chitto extra innings and a walk-off grand slam to emerge the victor of a close 12-9 game with Sebastopol. With her team down 1-0 early, Kirkland put the first points of the series on the board for the Bobcats with a solo home run.
Left fielder Kayci Beth Wallace sent another run home with a liner along the left field foul line to extend their lead to 2-1. The home team went on an offensive tear after that and managed to stretch their advantage to 8-1.
The Bobcats of Sebastopol mounted a furious comeback, though. They were led by a three-run home run from Sarah Jones and a solo shot from Josie Trippe to put the score at 8-6.
They eventually tied the game up at 8, forcing extra innings in the process. Bogue Chitto only needed one frame to close the game out.
After a solid defensive stand where they allowed only one run, Kirkland delivered with a walk-off grand slam to end the game with a score of 12-9. She finished the game with three homers.
Game 2: Sebastopol 16, Bogue Chitto 6
Sebastapol had a six-run first inning on their way to routing the Bobcats 16-6 in the second contest of the night. The inning was highlighted by a home run from Alexis Billings and a double by Sara Jones.
They followed that inning with a four-run frame in the second and added six insurance runs in the fifth before the game was called due to the 10-run rule.
Baileigh Jackson led the way for Bogue Chitto with a double and a single, while Kylie Chapman and Stevie Montgomery each hit doubles.
Game 3: Bogue Chitto 14, Sebastopol 4
Early on, it looked as if the deciding game would be as close as the first. Bogue Chitto put up two runs in the bottom of the first, but Sebastopol matched the output in the top of the second to tie the game.
In the third inning, Savoie hit a single, Terrah Nelson followed with a double and Kirkland was intentionally walked to load the bases. Leggett stepped up to plate in a clutch situation and delivered with a grand slam to give Bogue Chitto a 7-2 lead.
Montgomery then followed with a double and Chapman brought her in to home plate on a two-run homer to extend their advantage to 9-2. Savoie hit the Bobcats’ final home run of the night in the fourth inning and the Bobcats coasted the rest of the way, with the contest ending in the fifth inning.
Karly Leake and Montgomery led all BC hitters with three hits. Leake hit three singles, while Montgomery tallied a double and two singles. Savoie and Chapman finished with a home run and single each. Leggett tallied a single to go along with her grand slam, and Julianna Frazier and Wallace also hit safely.
The Bobcats will now head to Ridgeland to face Hamilton in the 1A slow-pitch championship Saturday. Game 1 of the championship series will begin at 10:30 a.m.