The Buchholz high school softball team faced its rival of Gainesville High on Tuesday night. The Bobcats went out strong with the intention to break the 9-year losing streak. Although the team gave it their all, it came down to the seventh inning when Buchholz fell short.
The rivalry saw a huge turnout in the stands as families gathered with excitement for the softball showdown. Prior to the game, Buchholz’s record stood 1-3, while Gainesville’s record stood 0-3. The Bobcats took the lead in the first inning with three runs, holding the Hurricanes to two runs.
Coming into Tuesday’s game, Gainesville High was on a losing streak and hoping to redeem their first home win of the season. As the bottom of the second inning approached, Gainesville’s confidence and strength began to show.
They played smart in the box, adjusting to Buchholz’s pitches and getting walk after walk. The Bobcats were able to make two outs but lost the lead as the Hurricanes brought the score to 4-3.
Gainesville’s seventh batter on the lineup came up to swing with two runners on base. The stands were ecstatic as they watched the ball out in center field go right over the fence. Buchholz was now down 7-3. Buchholz pitcher Lindsey Orton closed out the inning with a strike out.
Rising Third Inning
After a tough inning, the Buchholz girls kept their heads high stepping into the batter’s box. The shift in score seemed to have no effect on them. Down the lineup each player began to make on-base hits, moving the runners from base-to-base. Buchholz pitcher’s pinch runner got caught in a pickle at third base but managed to play smart and steal home. This was the start of the score gap closing, 8-4.
The Hurricanes began to make many fielding errors, which the Bobcats used to their full advantage. With no outs, the Hurricanes called their first time out to change pitchers. Buchholz stayed patient in the box and bases were soon loaded with only one out. Leadoff batter freshman Lillyenne Mayhew had a nice on base hit that moved three runners. The fielding errors made by Gainesville caused the score to stand 8-6 by the end of the inning.
Senior Lindsey Orton starting off the top of the 3rd for Buchholz! @BuchholzHigh pic.twitter.com/klHC7nqS6o
— Hailey Hurst (@Haileyjhurst) March 8, 2023
Buchholz Comes up Short
The Bobcat defense held Gainesville to only one run in the next three innings, while its offense continued to dominate bringing the score to a tie 9-9. Buchholz fought all the way to the end but could not make any on-base hits during the seventh inning. As for Gainesville, its first batter stepped into the box hitting a triple to then stealing home on a bunt to close out the game. The final score was 10-9, Gainesville.
The Bobcats look forward to facing Gainesville once again on March 22 at home.
Two Buchholz seniors stood out during the game. Orton had a 0.800 batting average and pitched three strike outs to close out three innings. She will further her academic and softball career at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Center Fielder Kayla Hooper had a 1.000 field percentage with no errors and made four on-base appearances. She plans to further her academic and softball career at Florida Gateway College. Both students will celebrate signing day on Wednesday, March 8.