Faith Lutheran softball coach John Chilman owes Cheyenne Kidd one.
“She saved me,” Chilman said.
Kidd ripped a two-out, walk-off double to center field, and the host Crusaders scored three times in the final inning to rally for a 6-5 victory over Boulder City on Thursday.
The game was eerily reminiscent of last season’s losers’ bracket final of the Division I-A Southern Region tournament, when Faith Lutheran (4-4) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 6-5 win.
“I don’t know why we can’t beat Boulder till the seventh inning,” Chilman said. “They’re our rivals in every sport, and I’m sure we’re theirs. It’s fun to play them because they’re so dang talented.”
Kidd was at the center of two costly coaching decisions earlier in the game. The junior was thrown out twice by Boulder City first baseman Katlyn Jackson when Chilman sent her home on a ground-ball out, the last time in the bottom of the sixth with Faith trailing 4-3.
The Eagles (6-3) took advantage of an error in the top of the seventh to go up 5-3, but they were unable to hang on despite getting the first two outs of the bottom of the inning.
Samantha Jack and Vanessa Valdez singled to put runners on first and second for Faith Lutheran. After a wild pitch, Boulder City catcher Nicole Schulz tried to nail Jack at third, but her throw skipped into left field, both runners scored, and the game was tied at 5-5.
Bri Yee then reached on an error, and after Lauryn Lipe singled to left to keep the rally going, Kidd lined a 3-2 pitch over the head of Eagles center fielder Alyssa Ybarra to cap the comeback.
“I was just trying to stay positive and clear my mind before each pitch,” said Kidd, who finished 2-for-4. “We’ve had some struggles the past few games. This will keep us positive as a team so we can continue forward.”
Jackson and Kaila Davis each went 2-for-3 for Boulder City, which opened a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on run-scoring singles by Davis and Summer Smith.
Eagles pitcher Mikaela Brown retired eight straight at one point and didn’t allow a hit until Mosie Foley doubled off the wall in left-center with one out in the fourth. But Faith had five of its eight hits in the final two innings to pull out the win.
“One thing this team lacks is confidence,” Chilman said. “Hopefully, we can build off this.”
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.