Power play: Home runs set tone as Holden continue streak of LHSAA softball titles | High School Sports

SULPHUR — The game started with Anacoco’s leadoff batter hitting a home run off Taylor Douglas. The Holden pitcher quickly reset her mindset.

Led by title-game MVP Gracie Duffy’s two home runs, top-seeded Holden also honed its sights on a fifth straight Class B title.

Duffy, Douglas and Kacey Breithaupt all hit home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to close out Holden’s 10-4 victory over Anacoco in the title game at the LHSAA softball tournament Saturday at Frasch Park.

“We came in expecting nothing to be easy,” Duffy said. “We’ve done this four times. “Every time they punched at us, we punched right back.

“I just swung. … The pitches were in my zone, and I hit my pitch. Getting to come out here and play with my best friends I’ve been playing with since I was six years old means everything.”

Duffy was 3 for 3 with two home runs and four RBIs. Douglas struck out nine, scattered nine hits to get the win and was 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Rockets, who finished with 12 hits.

Ava Davis fouled off multiple pitches into the backstop. She launched the 13th pitch she saw from Douglas over the center field fence on a full count.

The Rockets rallied in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the first. Douglas drew a leadoff walk. Alyson Fletcher walked too, before Duffy turned on a pitch from AHS’ Bailey Davis and hit it over the left field fence.

The Rockets added another run when Madison McDonald doubled and scored on an error. A three-run third inning upped the Rockets’ lead to 7-1. Douglas won a foot race to first base after hitting line shot toward the outfield which allowed two runs to score. The Holden pitcher also shook off a line shot off her leg along the way.

There was history and familiarity in play. Holden beat seventh-seeded Anacoco 11-6 in the Class B final in 2021. They expected a battle from the Indians (25-9).

“We came in knowing it was going to be a dogfight,” Douglas said. “I’ve been pitching a long time and I know home runs and hits happen. You have to keep going and not let it determine the rest of the game.”

The Indians scored twice in the top of the sixth to make it a 7-4. Soon, the Rockets found a sweet spot over the left field fence. Douglas led off with a home run to left. Duffy and Breithaupt followed.

“The mentality we have is that we work the next pitch and the next play,” first-year Holden coach Raven Andrews said. “This is definitely the most incredible feeling. So emotional. And I’m so proud of them.”

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