** By Lindsey Young ** Article courtesy of The Times Free Press.
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The look on Jadyn Raschke’s face said it all.
Moments after watching a three-run lead in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s District 5-AAA softball championship round go away in one swing of the bat, the Ooltewah senior took it upon herself to fix things.
Raschke’s one-out walk-off homer lifted the Lady Owls to a 6-5 win over Soddy-Daisy at Walker Valley, forcing a winner-take-all game tonight at 6. The blast, a line drive over the left-field fence, ignited a massive celebration at home plate.
“It felt great and I’m really glad I hit it over,” a beaming Raschke said of her first career walk-off homer. “It felt pretty good when I hit it, so I felt pretty confident it was going over. We were a little down after losing the lead, but we always come back in the end. We’re that kind of team.”
Ooltewah (30-6) defeated McMinn County 12-2 in the losers-bracket final earlier Tuesday to earn a region tournament berth and the shot at another district title.
The Lady Owls, who lost in eight innings to the Lady Trojans in Monday’s winners-bracket final, built a 5-1 lead thanks in large part to a potent bottom of the lineup. Seventh-place hitter Raschke was 3-for-4, adding a pair of doubles to go with her homer, with Addy Keylon belting an RBI triple and No. 9 hitter Marissa Forrester going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
“The bottom of the order really picked us up. and we hit the ball well overall,” said Ooltewah coach Jon Massey, whose team rapped out 11 hits, seven of them for extra bases. “Jadyn had a great night, and it was just a big team win where everyone contributed.”
That included pitcher McKenzie Patterson. After stepping in for ace Kayla Boseman against McMinn County, she was two outs from ending the nightcap when a walk and a single brought up Soddy-Daisy’s Harvey, who sent a rocket over the left-center fence to tie the game at 5.
“McKenzie pitched well,” Massey said. “She threw well in the first game after Kayla got nicked up in the second game of the tournament. We just wanted to come out and have some fun. We knew we had to come out and swing the bats, and they did just that.”
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6296; follow on Twitter @youngsports22.