By Mike McClure

The Laurel varsity softball team rallied from a 10-6 deficit to defeat the Ravens, 11-10, on a walkoff double by Makenzie Whaley last Tuesday in Laurel. Sussex Tech entered the road contest undefeated at 5-0.

“I was happy to be the one up there. I knew my team had my back,” said Whaley. “No matter how much we get down, we always work hard and do our best.”

Pinch runner Alyssa Brittingham crosses the plate for the game-winning run following Makenzie Whaley’s walk-off double in the Laurel softball team’s 11-10 win over Sussex Tech last Tuesday in Laurel. Photo by Mike McClure

“It’s a good feeling because I knew the girls could do it,” Laurel head coach Jodi Green added. “Couri (Smith) got all the girls going. She’s a good firecracker.”

Sussex Tech scored two runs in the top of the first on a two-run triple by Megan Sterling to plate Kylie Kruger (single) and Laniya Lewis (single). Laurel answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning thanks to RBI singles by Whaley, Kaegen Brittingham (two runs), and Peyton Givens.

The Ravens went ahead, 6-4, with four runs in the top of the second as Kayla Evans, Karli Penrod, Journey Hopkins, and Victoria Lecates each crossed the plate. Laurel pulled within one in the bottom of the inning when Ashlyn Ullman knocked in Bailey Ullman (single). 

Penrod singled in Hopkins and Lecates for two more Sussex Tech runs in the third. Olivia Rogers scored a run for Laurel in bottom of the third, but Sterling and Jaya Shaub each scored a run in the top of the fourth to give their team a 10-6 advantage. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Venables singled and scored on a double by Bailey Ullman (10-7). Laurel pitcher Kylee led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and courtesy runner Alexis Cooper scored on a two-out single by Peyton Givens to pull the Bulldogs within two.

Hill sent Sussex Tech down in order in the top of the seventh, then the rally began. Smith hit a slap single to lead off inning, Bailey Ullman singled, and Ashlyn Ullman single up middle to score Smith. With runners on first and second with no outs, Whaley delivered the game-winning double.

“We have what it takes to come back from anything. We never give up, we always work hard and we always have each other’s backs,” said Whaley.

“Our hitting was actually working today. We’ve been struggling. Our defense makes up for it, nothing really gets through us,” Smith added.