Lambert survived a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh for a 2-1 victory against West Forsyth on Tuesday to clinch the Region 5-7A championship.
Catie Rose Hays broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth with a RBI single to help give the Lady Longhorns (17-3, 11-0) their third region title in the past four seasons, and first in Class 7A.
Hays drove in both of Lambert’s runs.
“This is a team sport and everyone does their part,” Hays said. “I just thought one pitch at a time and do my job.”
Lambert’s job wasn’t over after Hays’ clutch hit.
A furious two-out rally from West (11-11, 6-5) saw the Lady Wolverines load the bases in the bottom of the seventh behind a huge two-out walk by Bailee Martin and back-to-back singles by Gracie Martin and Bailley Concatto.
But Lambert pitcher Kassidy Krupit got Carlie Behan to fly out to end the game and begin the Lady Longhorns’ celebration.
“We’ve won 11 games within two runs,” Lambert head coach Brooks Youngblood said. “We’re 11-0, and we’ve learned time and time again when our back’s against the wall we can get the hits and the strikes we need. This was another chance to see the quality of girls we have, and they have the ‘it.’”
Both teams came into Tuesday’s game with confidence. Lambert was coming off a 4-0 victory against North Forsyth on Monday. West was coming off a 7-3 win against Forsyth Central.
The Lady Longhorns struck first with Hays’ first RBI single to give Lambert a 1-0 lead.
West got even in the bottom of the fourth, getting the leadoff batter on and bunting her over to second. Kelsey Schell drove her in to tie the game 1-1.
“You have to try and make the best of opportunities,” West head coach Justin Rickett said. “We got bunts down with leadoff runners on, and I thought we did things well. We were a big hit or two away.”
West had all of the momentum heading into the bottom of the fifth when a leadoff walk and a sac bunt from Gracie Martin gave the Lady Wolverines a chance to take the lead, but West failed to capitalize with one out.
Lambert had a chance to pull away in the top of the seventh when it loaded the bases, but West starting pitcher Hannah Guthrie go out of the jam, preserving the one-run game and giving the Lady Wolverines a chance to win the game.