Hudson softball earns spot in Final 4 with comeback win over Triton

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Hudson softball earns spot in Final 4 with comeback win over Triton
Hudson High School softball players pose for a photo after clinching a spot in the Division 3 Final Four. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

HUDSON – Down 9-0 in the fourth inning, Audrey Lenox said she and her team knew Friday’s Elite 8 clash against Triton Regional High School might be their last game of the season.

But the Hudson High School softball team battled back, scoring 10 unanswered runs to punch their ticket to the Division 3 Final 4 with a 10-9 win.

Lenox won the game in walk-off fashion, driving in the game tying and game winning runs with one swing of the bat.

“I wasn’t really trying to hit it too hard,” Lenox told the Community Advocate. “I just knew we needed that one run to tie it and, off the bat, I knew it was good.”

Hudson softball earns spot in Final 4 with comeback win over Triton
Hudson players celebrate during their late-game rally against Triton Regional High School. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

After their trip down I-495 to face Hudson, Triton quickly got on the board when leadoff hitter Mallory Johnson hit a home run off Hudson’s Taylor Attaway. Hudson gave up two more runs before Attaway ended the first inning with a strikeout.

After both teams held each other scoreless in the second inning, Triton padded its lead in the third, scoring two runs on a two-out hit.

Triton pitcher Emma Penniman yielded a walk to Attaway in the bottom of the third inning but retired three Hudson batters in a row to send her team back to the plate. Triton scored four runs in the game’s fourth frame to take a 9-0 lead.

Hudson has frequently had to erase early-game leads on its path to victory this spring.

Hudson softball earns spot in Final 4 with comeback win over Triton
Hudson pitcher Vita Lagattolla throws a pitch against Triton Regional High School. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

Trailing once again against Triton, Hudson Head Coach Laura Bowen said her players stayed calm.

“Mid-game, they were just super relaxed and they just said, ‘Let’s just go have fun,’ ” Bowen said.

Lauren O’Malley opened the scoring for Hudson with a leadoff home run to start the fourth inning.

Lenox and Sam Collette hit back-to-back singles and Colbie Lacina later reached first base on an error.

With the bases loaded, Hudson scored three straight runs on a bunt single by Sydney Roush and walks by Alyssa Davis and Livi Sousa, respectively.

Triton never scored again on Friday.

The Hawks, meanwhile, chipped away at their deficit and entered the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 9-7.

Hudson softball earns spot in Final 4 with comeback win over Triton
Hudson’s Sydney Roush swings at a pitch. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

After a leadoff double from Attaway and another bunt single from Roush, pinch runner Jillian Davis scored on a fielder’s choice with Alyssa Davis at the plate.

Triton intentionally walked O’Malley, bringing Lenox to the plate. Lenox hit a double and ended the game.

“Talk about a team win,” Bowen said. “Everybody made a difference in that game and I think that’s why it’s so special.”

While her team celebrated, Bowen acknowledged Penniman and the team behind her.

“I tip my cap to them, they’re a great team and they came out and put the pressure on us,” she said.

Under pressure, Lenox said she and her team kept things light even in the face of a nearly double-digit Triton fourth inning advantage in a winner-take-all game.

“We just wanted to have fun,” she said. “We knew it might be our last game and we didn’t want to go down sulking. I guess having fun paid off.”

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