Lady Gators fall in 11 inning thriller to Ballard 4-1, in the Quarterfinals of the 2023 KHSAA State Tournament

After nearly a three and half hour 11-inning softball game, the Greenwood Lady Gators fell to Ballard 4-1
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 4:40 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - After nearly a three and half hour, 11 inning softball game, the Greenwood Lady Gators fell to Ballard 4-1, ending its electrifying postseason run in the Quarterfinals of the KHSAA Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Softball State Tournament.

“I’m just glad we went out with a bang,” senior pitcher Kayden Murray said. “We didn’t just let them run all over us. We gave it all we got and we fought until the very end. I’m happy for the way the season ended, it’s just a little bit sad.”

Greenwood totaled six hits. Lydia Kirby led the way going 2-5 and a RBI. Kayden Murray pitched 11 innings, giving up 7 hits and 4 earned runs, with two strikeouts. The Lady Gators left eight runners stranded on base.

For Ballard, Mikayla Milby went 1-5 with two RBI’s. Brooke Gray pitched 11 innings, giving up 6 hits and one earned run, while totaling 16 strikeouts.

These teams faced off earlier this season that also went into 11 innings, with Ballard pulling that one out 1-0.

And this time around, It was another elite defensive game with Kayden Murray back in the circle, this time against Louisville commit Brooke Gray. Gray was on fire in the circle striking out five of the first six batters while Murray was keeping the bruins from making significant contact, leading to easy outs.

We didn’t get the first hit of the game until the third inning when Macie Murray connected to get a single. We didn’t get the first run of the game until the top of the 5th inning when a sac fly from Kady Dennis brought in Kierstyn Smith for the first score.

The gators would knot it up at one in the next inning after Lydia Kirby hit an RBI single to bring in Savannah White evening it at one heading into the 7th. The home team had a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the inning but Gray got Caydence Wolfe swinging, sending it to extra innings.

Neither team could get anything going until we got to the 11th inning and the Bruins took control. Mikayla Milby with a shot to right center field which brings in two runners, giving Ballard a 3-1 lead. The next batter Macy McCoy singles up the middle to bring in Milby with all the momentum in Ballard’s favor.

Gray got two quick outs in the final frame. Greenwood had one more chance to tie it up or win with a walk. Freshman Katy Rippy singled to get on base. But then 7th grader Molly Spidel hit a deep fly ball all the way to the warning track but was ultimately short of going over and was caught, ending the season.

“I think we fought until the end,” Kirby said. “I’m sad it didn’t go our way, but we fought. We are a young team so we will be back next year for sure. I’m proud of each and every one of them (teammates), couldn’t be more proud.”

The Lady Gators fall to the defending champs in 11 innings by a score of 4-1. Greenwood finishes with a 20-14 record, a 4th region title, and made it to the quarterfinals of the state tournament, a season they won’t forget.