Whitehall-Yearling scored three runs in the top of the seventh to even things at four, but host Buckeye Valley scored just two batters into the home half of the inning to notch a thrilling 5-4 walk-off win in the second round of the Division II Central District softball tournament Thursday in Delaware.
The eighth-seeded Barons were pushed … but they never blinked.
Lisa Leienberger opened the seventh with a grounder up the middle. She eventually made it all the way to third thanks in part to a Ram error — their only fielding miscue of the game — and scored the game-winning run courtesy of a shot to left off the bat of Nicole Peak.
The game was back-and-fourth most of the way. Whitehall-Yearling broke the scoring seal in the first, but BV answered with two runs in the second thanks to a homer from Paige Milhon. A two-run fifth gave the Barons a 4-1 lead until the Rams’ three-run seventh extended the game, even if just by a couple batters.
Leienberger led the way with three hits, a run and an RBI. Peak and Taylor Jenkins had two hits apiece while Milhon finished with the two RBI.
With the win, Buckeye Valley advances to Tuesday’s district semifinal, where it will play second-seeded River Valley at a site to be determined. The Vikings beat the Barons in both regular-season meetings. They won the first 9-2 in Delaware and the second 10-0 in five innings at their place.
Also: Olentangy 14, Orange 0 (regular season).
Fourth-seeded Bloom-Carroll scored early and kept the pressure on en route to dealing 17th-seeded Buckeye Valley a 7-0 loss in the second round of the Division II Central District baseball tournament Thursday at Bloom-Carroll High School.
After scoring a run in the first inning, the Bulldogs added three runs in the second, one more in the third and two in the fifth to smooth out the scoring summary. They outhit the Barons 11-6.
Travis Pennington had half the BV hits, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. Hayden Owens, Zach Schneider and Ben Spaulding had the others, all singles.
Owens suffered the setback on the mound, allowing seven runs (five earned) on 11 hits while striking out five and walking three in six innings of action.
Also: Orange 6, Westerville North 0 (regular season).
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.