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April 18, 2014

HUNTSVILLE SOFTBALL — Lady Hornets go out with a bang

Sabrina Johnson records nine strikeouts, hits two-run blast to lead Lady Hornets

HUNTSVILLE — Even though the season didn’t go exactly the way Huntsville’s softball team planned it, the Lady Hornets ended things on a high note Thursday night against Willis.

In the season finale, Huntsville took a 3-2 victory over Willis thanks to stellar pitching and timely hitting by senior Sabrina Johnson.

Johnson delivered nine strikeouts and gave up two runs while hitting the go-ahead home run to give the Lady Hornets the win.

The two-run shot came in the fourth inning and dropped over the center field fence.

Johnson wasn’t sure of it until she saw the ball leave the field.

“I was just hoping I didn’t pop up and then I finally looked and I’d started my season with a home run and ended the season with a home run,” Johnson said. “It felt so good because I’d been in a slump and I finally did it.”

Huntsville struck first with a run scored in the first inning.

Willis pitcher Casey Dixon, despite striking out the side, walked Paige Pacher, who stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch by Dixon allowed Pacher to score the first run of the game.

Huntsville stranded a pair of runners in that inning, but got enough from Johnson’s bat in the fourth inning with the score tied at 1.

Johnson wasn’t the only pitcher plating runs for her team Thursday night.

Dixon hit an RBI double off the fence to bring in first baseman Casey Peters.

In the fourth inning, shortstop Erica Wood singled to the right field gap to bring in Peters for the Lady Wildkats’ second run of the game.

But that’s where the scoring ended and it wasn’t enough for Willis to overcome Huntsville, which missed out on the playoffs this season after falling to Brenham on Tuesday.

“It was bittersweet,” Johnson said of claiming the last victory of her high school career. “We came down and fought. We’re fighters and we never let up. We did so well and I’m so proud. We played together as a team and were one.”

Huntsville head coach Rick Burns said he was proud of the way the Lady Hornets competed, despite the score or the opponent, whether they were overmatched or not.

“They continued to battle,” he said. “Everything didn’t go our way all the time. That’s obvious. But they never quit and that’s just a quality that’s hard to come by.”

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