UNION MILLS | John Hall might not agree with Madisyn Walter's nickname, but the South Central softball coach was confident his sophomore pitcher was up to the task Friday afternoon in a Class A sectional championship.
"I know they call her 'Mad Dog', but she was a bulldog," Hall said of Walter, who picked up a 6-3 complete-game victory over Triton. "She did a great job staying in the game."
Walter (8-2) allowed three sixth-inning runs and two runners reached base in the bottom of the seventh, but Walter struck out potential tying run Melanie Clemens and snared Krystal Sellers' comebacker to seal the team's title defense.
"We couldn't hit, so that made be pitch better," said Walter, who kept the Trojans (16-15) scoreless with five strikeouts and just one hit allowed through five innings. "I got a little tired in the sixth, but (catcher) Cali (Young) kept me up by telling me. 'You got this.' After I got that second out (in the seventh) I knew I had this."
The Satellites (19-9) only mustered three hits off Triton starter Mallorie Jennings -- whose initial seven outs were recorded via strikeout -- but they still found a way to scratch out three runs in the fifth.
Taylor Johnson's one-out single was the lone hit of the frame, but two runners scored on a two-out infield dropped fly ball and the third came home on a wild pitch.. S.C. scored in the sixth on a wild pitch.
"We had opportunities, and we jumped on them," said Hall, whose team scored five unearned runs. "We battled all of the way."
Senior Kayla Pritchard shrugged off an 0-for-3 start with a crucial RBI single a two-run seventh.
"I kind of realized it was time for a hit," Pritchard said. "We had so much adrenaline early. Once we settled down, we got into the game."
South Central hosts a regional game against defending state runner-up Lakewood Park Christian on Tuesday.
"We started to work together and play as a team," Hall said. "We've really gelled."