McKenzie wins tournament title

Published 3:42 pm Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Three was the magic number for the McKenzie Lady Tigers as they took home the first-place trophy for the third annual Butler County School System Softball Tournament Saturday.

It’s the third time McKenzie has claimed the tournament title.

McKenzie put on a dominating display throughout the tournament, ending in a thrilling 9-7 victory in the championship match with Greenville and bragging rights for the next year.

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But it almost didn’t end that way, despite a 6-1 lead after the first inning of play.

McKenzie pitcher Ashley Ballard posted two RBIs following an imposing performance on the mound, and Daizia Womack brought home three more for a seemingly insurmountable early lead.

The lead would grow to as many as seven after only three innings, but Greenville would whittle away at the deficit in the later innings of play.

The miraculous comeback culminated in an 11th-hour rally in the bottom of the final inning; Greenville found themselves staring down Ballard with two outs and the bases loaded.

Unfortunately for McKenzie, fatigue had begun to set in for Ballard at the mound, compounded by a slight injury following a nasty collision at second base in the prior inning.

When it seemed as though Greenville’s momentum couldn’t be stopped, a decisive strikeout from Ballard sealed Greenville’s fate and McKenzie’s third title in as many years.