In a game that scheduled on moments’ notice, the Tigers defeated Southwestern 3-0 to capture Tiger coach Jamie Gilbert’s 400thwin.
“It feels great, but the win for the girls feels even better,” said an ecstatic Gilbert. “It’s something I’d have never dreamed of when I first started. I thought it was only something great coaches achieve. I’m so fortunate to have achieved this, but I’m mostly proud for my program.”
Things looked weary early on in the game, as Clay couldn’t get their typical high-powered offense rolling. The strong pitching of Brianda Owens halted the Lady Warriors from gaining any momentum, as the Tigers would finally find their rhythm at the plate. Owens tossed another 1-hit shutout for Clay, pitching a complete game. Owens struck out 12 Lady Warriors in the process.
Senior Emma Hurd led the way offensively for Clay, as she was in a do-it-all type mood in this contest. Hurd scored the opening run of the game on a passed ball, then crushed a solo home run tape measure worthy shot over the center field wall. It finally landed at an astounding 246 feet. She was 1-2 on the day, with 1 RBI. Brianda Owens grounded out to score Shelby Phillips for the 3rdand final score on the day.
Gilbert reminisced from the humble beginnings, to where his program stands now after the big win. “It wasn’t that long ago when I had to run people off this field, when I was trying to establish this program,” he said. “I fight for my girls. I told them tonight, it’s not about me, this is always about you all. They done a super job tonight. They told me how they wanted to get this one for me, so it’s a testament to how wonderful of kids I get to coach. These girls make my job easy, and I’m so proud of them.”
Despite the awesome celebration and the thrill of such an accomplishment, Gilbert remains hungry for more. “We are building for the postseason,” said Gilbert with a determined look. “We want to go farther than we did last year. However, our focus is on George Rogers Clark tomorrow night, as we always take it one game at a time.”
Batting – Emma Hurd (1-2) 1 HR, 1 RBI; Shelby Phillips (2-3); Maddie Frazier (1-3); Brianda Owens 1 RBI; Kimberlyn Mills (2-3); Hailey Napier (2-3); Tori North (1-3) Pitching – Brianda Owens (W) 7.0 IP, 1 hit, 12 K’s.