Seventh-inning, two-out blast ends Perryville softball team's season

Friday, October 7, 2011
Perryville's Aleisha Reiss is tagged out at home by Park Hills' Kiley Horton during the seventh inning of their Class 3 District 1 semifinal game Thursday in Potosi, Mo. Park Hills won 4-2. (Kristin Eberts)

Park Hills' Georgia Richardson crushed a three-run home run to end Perryville's season

POTOSI, Mo. -- Georgia Richardson probably was the only one who didn't know it was gone.

"I thought it was going to be a pop up like I hit the entire time," the Park Hills sophomore said.

Richardson crushed Perryville senior Casey Hotop's pitch well beyond the left-field fence to win Thursday's Class 3 District 1 softball semifinal game. Richardson's blast came with two on, two outs and the Pirates clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"As soon as it came off the bat, I knew it," Perryville coach Jeff Steffens said.

Perryville's Casey Hotop pitches during the third inning.

Richardson said she didn't know she'd homered until hearing her teammates' reaction.

"When everyone started screaming and coming out and hitting me in the head," she said is when she figured out the ball had left the park.

The Rebels streamed from the dugout and waited for Richardson at home plate as she rounded the bases. Her home run lifted Park Hills to a 4-2 victory.

"It was a fastball," Hotop said.

Park Hills went on to lose to Notre Dame 3-0 in Thursday's district title game.

Richardson said she wasn't looking for a specific pitch in the situation.

"It just was there and I got it, I guess," she said. "Just a lucky shot."

Brylee Boyd led off the seventh inning with a soft single to right field, and she went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Hotop then walked Sabrina Tripp with one out, and Steffens went out to talk with his team.

"We all had to take a big, deep breathe and we just had to trust each other that we could do it," Perryville catcher Morgan Baer said.

Hotop responded by striking out Rebels No. 3 batter Taylor Friend for the second out.

But Richardson deposited Hotop's second offering over the left-field wall.

"It was a little more to the middle than I wanted, but it was pretty well placed," Baer said about the pitch. "She just got a hold of it."

Said Steffens: "Casey was pitching very well. Really nothing was hit hard until that last pitch that was hit. The first one getting on, it barely made it out of the infield over the first baseman's head. Luck wasn't in our favor tonight."

Perryville took the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Hotop scored from third when Baer grounded to Friend, the pitcher. Hotop came down the line as Friend fielded the ball. Hotop waited for Friend to fire to first before breaking for home. Hotop slid to the back of the plate and barely beat the tag.

The Pirates only managed four hits and struck out six times against Friend.

"She was a good pitcher," Baer said. "She hit her spots very well. I know she jammed me inside a lot. She had pretty good speed."

Perryville (16-8) had a chance to add an insurance run in the top of the seventh after Aleisha Reiss doubled to lead off the inning. She went to third on a sacrifice bunt, but she was thrown out at the plate on a grounder by Hailey Richardet.

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WP -- Taylor Friend. LP -- Casey Hotop. HR -- Georgia Richardson (PH). 2B -- Hotop (P), Aleisha Reiss (P). Multiple hits -- Perryville: Reiss 2-3; Park Hills: Alexandra Huff 3-3, Brylee Boyd 2-2. Records -- Perryville 16-8.

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