Life goes pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss an 11-point inning.
Sophomore Alysa Vaught hit a grand slam, scoring that seismic frame that propelled host Franklin to a 14-4 softball win over Indian Creek on Monday.
“We all kind of got together and started playing the way we could,” Vaught said of his team’s deciding set.
Held completely in check by Braves starter Alyssa Lewis in the first three innings, the Grizzly Cubs (2-2) opened the floodgates in the fourth. Ellie Chumbley started with a brace down the left field line, Kiara Lynn followed with a walk and Mia Herbert charged with a bunt single.
Ashlynn Keser then tied the game with a two-point brace, and after a walk to Emily Fuqua once again loaded the sacks, Vaught delivered the killing blow with a blast over the wall to left center.
“Honestly, I was just looking for a hit,” Vaught said. “I went up there, and it happened.”
Franklin wasn’t finished, however. A Sara Small single ended in walks to Lexi Willey and Chumbley, loaded the bases with one out, and three more runs came on a hit, a walk and an error. Kiara Lynn scored on a double steal to make it 10-2, and Vaught notched her fifth RBI of the inning on a brace that tackled Keser.
Indian Creek (1-2) fought back with two runs in the top of the fifth. Jasmine Day started with a brace and came on an RBI triple from Lewis, who then scored on a sacrifice fly left by Ava Wagner.
However, that was only enough to temporarily stem the tide, as the Grizzly Cubs left him late in the inning. Adeline Blackwell reached on a three base error and scored on a two-out double by Mia Herbert. A wild pitch tackled Alexis Brown to make it 13-4, and a base-loaded walk to Vaught pushed Herbert through to seal it.
Franklin’s coach Kayla Craft credited a mid-game pep talk from assistant Ken Sears with helping change the momentum.
“Coach Ken had a conversation with them like, ‘Relax. Breathe, have fun and hit the ball,'” Craft recalled. has helped. We told them to keep up the intensity and good things will happen if you do.
The Braves had taken the upper hand early with single runs in the first and third. Emily Todor got the Braves on the board when she started the game with a single, fought her way to third place and came in on a base hit by Lewis. Two innings later, Day hit a first hit, advanced on a wild pitch and passed the ball, then scored on a double steal.
Unfortunately for the Braves, the good times didn’t last.
“They just got on our pitcher and got hits,” Indian Creek coach Gary Mitchell said. “They had runners and made hits, whereas when we had runners we left six on base tonight. If we score early with them and lower them a bit, that changes the game.”
Instead, it was Vaught and the Grizzly Cubs who changed him.