Bucks split with Bobcats to win title

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2022

BUCHANAN — Needing only a split to lock up the BCS Athletic Conference Red Division championship, host Buchanan got just that against arch rival Brandywine Tuesday afternoon.

The No. 6-ranked Bucks blanked the Bobcats 12-0 in the opening game, which lasted only five innings.

Brandywine rebounded to take the nightcap 5-4 in eight innings.

Tuesday’s doubleheader could be a preview of the Division 3 District semifinals June 4 at Buchanan. The Bucks received a first-round bye and will host the winner of the Brandywine-Constantine pre-district contest, which will be May 31 at Buchanan’s field.

Bucks’ Coach Rachel Carlson said that the split would have no bearing on the postseason.

“This split doesn’t affect anything we set out to do this year,” she said. “We will learn from this and move ourselves toward our next goal.”

In the opener, Buchanan scored six runs in the second inning to break open the contest. The Bucks led 2-0 after one.

With one out, back-to-back singles and back-to-back walks produced the first run of the inning. Hannah Herman’s bases-loaded walk extended the Buchanan lead to 3-0. Alea Fisher followed with a two-run single before Hailee Kara grounded out to score Herman. The final two outs of the inning came on a single by Sage Pruett and a double by Hannah Tompkins.

Buchanan then turned it over to Kara, who tossed a two-hitter with four strikeouts.

The Bucks added two runs in the bottom of the fourth to cap the scoring.

A single by Tompkins and a walk to Christin Cooper set up a one-out, two-run single by Horvath Caitlyn, who extended the Buchanan lead to 12-0.

After a double by Chloe Parker to lead off the fifth, Kara induced a pair of groundouts and recorded a strikeout to end the contest.

“We came out tonight and hit the ball in game one, which clinched the conference title, which was our goal,” Carlson said. “In game two, we left some runners in scoring position and made some mistakes. Those little things will bite you in a close game and it did.”

Brandywine (11-10-1, 1-5 Red Division) grabbed an early 3-0 lead on the Bucks, who rallied to tie the game at 3-3. Both teams added a run to send the game into extra innings.

Using the International Rule, the Bobcats’ Haley Scott started at second base. Julia Babcock grounded out to second, which allowed Scott to move on to third. She then scored the winning run when the Bucks committed an error on a pop fly off the bat of Presley Gogley.

In the bottom of the eighth, Buchanan (25-6, 7-1 Red Division) went down in order.