DANVILLE - In one of the most exciting sectional finals history, rival girls' high school softball teams Scott and Champanville squared off in a rubber match third game to decide the sectional championship Thursday evening at Lick Creek Park.
Both teams gave up unearned runs in the beginning of the game, before lots of runs, exciting plays, extra innings and a heart-breaking loss for the fourth-ranked Class AA Lady Skyhawks.
With the game tied 2-2, the Lady Tigers of Chapmanville exploded for three runs and took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the final inning.
With the bases loaded, Scott's star senior Allyson "Pig" Johnson came to the plate. With two outs Chapmanville decided to pitch to the All-State candidate and she drove the ball into the gap in left center. The ball rolled all the way to the fence and cleared the bases, tying the game 5-5.
In the top of the ninth inning of the extra innings game, Chapmanville scored a run to take the lead again 6-5.
In the bottom of the ninth Scott fought back and loaded the bases before a pop fly ended the game and the Lady Skyhawks dream season.
"I was proud of these girls tonight," said Scott head coach D.A. Harless. "They never gave up and fought to the end. It just didn't end the way we wanted."
The tough loss brought out emotions from Scott's players, coaches and fans.
"It's so difficult to see it come to an end," said Scott assistant coach Rodney Miller. "You work together, travel together, live together, and play together for so long you become family. Then for it to end so suddenly is really hard on all of our emotions."
Johnson, the team's leader all season, said the loss of the game was tough, but even tougher was to know that she would not be playing softball at Scott any longer.
"I loved all of these girls," she said. "They have all been there for me and I am so proud to be part of this team. Knowing it's over is the hardest part to accept."
Jennifer Miller also played an outstanding game, as did Katie Marcum and Sara Browning.
Kellian Strange, played the game with a black eye after a bad hop hit her on the left check under her eye in the second game on Wednesday.
"There was no way I was missing this game," she said.
Ally Brown, Chasity Ball, Sydney Dangott, Katrina Conley and the entire team contributed.
"That's what I love about these girls is that whether they are playing in the game or sitting on the bench, they are supporting each other, cheering each other on and being there for each other," Coach Harless said. "We had a great season and it's really hard to say good-bye, especially to the five seniors on the team."
Look for a more detailed story and photos in Wednesday's print edition of the Coal Valley News.