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A day removed from a dramatic seventh inning win against Glen Allen, Grafton had the tables turned as Deep Creek knocked off the Clippers 10-9 at home in nine innings during Sunday’s 4A South championship game.
Grafton took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning after Christa Hall opened the inning by hitting her first of three home runs in the game.
The solo home run was followed by Tara Deck hitting an RBI single to left field later in the inning.
The Clippers blew the game open in the top of the fourth as Hall crushed a two-run homer over the center-field fence. Later that inning, Marika Whitlatch hit an RBI double to center field before Kayley Cox hit an RBI single to put Grafton up 6-0.
Through the first three innings, Cox kept Deep Creek at bay in the circle, allowing just one base runner, but the momentum began to shift in the bottom of the fourth.
A pair of Deep Creek RBI singles cut Grafton’s lead to 6-2 before the Hornets’ Alyssa Dixon grounded out to first base, but not before bringing home another run.
The Hornets tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth inning, which brought them within two runs.
Deep Creek took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking advantage of miscues by Cox. An Emily Teachout single gave way to a Dixon walk to open the inning.
Back-to-back RBI singles from Allison Brewer and Maria Smith allowed Deep Creek to knot the game at 6-6. On the next at-bat, Ryn Boelter smacked a two-run double to right field to give the Hornets an 8-6 advantage.
With only one out in the inning, Cox was relieved of her pitching duties and was replaced by Whitlatch. Cox pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight earned runs on 11 hits.
Hall continued her big game at the plate for Grafton, getting the Clippers (19-6) back into the game by smacking her third home run in the top of the seventh inning, tying the game at 8-8. Hall’s homer was followed immediately by a Jessie Sprouse home run that put Grafton up 9-8.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, a Grafton fielding error allowed Deep Creek to score the game-tying run, sending the game into extra innings.
The game came to a close in the bottom of the ninth inning as Dixon delivered a walk-off RBI double to center field, giving the Hornets a 10-9 victory.
Grafton will automatically advance to the Group 4A state tournament, where the Clippers will open play at noon Friday against Woodgrove. The game will be played at Liberty University.
Grafton: 002;400;300 – 9 16 4
Deep Creek: 000;314;101 – 10 14 0
WP: Ryn Boelter
LP: Marika Whitlatch
Grafton: Christa Hall (4-5, 5 RBIs, 3 HR), Jessie Sprouse (4-4, RBI, HR)
Deep Creek: Ryn Boelter (2-4, 2 RBIs), Alyssa Dixon (1-4, 2 RBIs)