It’s a good thing Nashville’s Mackenzie McFeron has great speed or the Class 2A softball state championship game might still be going on.
In the bottom of the 11th inning of a scoreless game, McFeron reached base on a bunt single.
On her attempted steal of second base, the throw went into the outfield allowing the freshman to circle the bases for the game’s only run.
Nashville picked up a 1-0 win over Brimfield Saturday at EastSide Centre and claimed the state championship. It was third state title for the softball program in school history.
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“Getting to run around those bases for the last time this season was an incredible feeling,” McFeron said. “I saw coach telling me to go, and I just ran home as fast as I could. It was the best feeling. This was the best game I’ve ever played in, and the atmosphere was so exciting getting to play with my favorite girls.”
The biggest story of this game was the outstanding pitchers’ duel between Nashville’s Maci Ingram, and Brimfield’s Morgan Florey. Ingram, a McKendree University recruit, carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before finally giving up a hit.
Ingram fanned 13 batters and allowed just three hits. She never allowed a runner to get in scoring position.
“This means the world to me to finish my senior year like this,” Ingram said. “When I saw that overthrow I knew Mack was going to score. This was amazing.”
Florey, a University of Evansville recruit, struck out 20 batters in the game and allowed five hits. But the Hornettes had runners on base in seven of the 11 innings and just couldn’t capitalize.
The team erupted in celebration when McFeron crossed home plate at the end.
“It just hit me, and I was thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s going to score,’” said Nashville senior Jordi Harre. “My mind just went blank for a second until I realized we are state champions again.
“It was the best feeling in the world. I still can’t believe it.”
McFeron produced two bunt singles in the game, and Deidra Holzhauer was the only Hornette to really hit Florey well. Holzhauer delivered three hits, including a double.
For Nashville’s coach, Dempsey Witte, this was his third state trophy in the past four
years. The Hornettes won a state title in 2012 and took third in 2013. Ingram was the pitcher for
all three state appearances.
“She’s one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met in my life,” Witte said of Ingram. “She works extremely hard at it and does not get rattled or let much bother her at all. She’s done a great job for us. I couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Nashville returns home around 1:30 p.m. today for a parade through town. A celebration at the school will follow.