By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – Yukon needed just one thing to kick start a sluggish offense against Putnam City.
It came off the bat of Chyenne Factor. It wasn’t her biggest, or hardest hit, but it opened a flood gate that led to 11-runs and 12-2 Disrtict 6A-2 win over the Lady Pirates on Senior Night.
It wasn’t the biggest hit of the night or even of the inning, that went to Anna Icenhower and her grand slam three batters later, but it was the one that gave the Millerettes the spark they needed to get back into, then break open the game.
“We were a little sluggish to open the game, made some mistakes both in the field and at the plate,” Millerette head coach Heather Shanahan said. “But, we weren’t overly concerned at that point, we knew the girls would get it together.
“Once we saw their pitcher once, the second time around we had more of our timing down and started hitting the ball well,” she added. “It turned into a good night for our seniors, we wanted them to play have a good senior night and it turned out pretty well.”
The Millerettes went into the third with only one baserunner in the first two innings. But, that changed in a hurry. Walks to Aleyah Holman and Hannah Hurtz around Rylee Uhr reaching on an error, loaded the bases.
Factor came to the plate as Putnam City made a pitching change, bringing in Makayla Jackson. Jackson worked a 2-2 count before Factor hit a soft liner to centerfield that scored the first run of the Millerettes.
That hit, sparked a run of six more hits that turned the game into a rout.
Breley Webb followed with a single that drove in two runs and gave the Millerettes the lead, 3-2. Bre Johnson singled to reload the bases and Ashlynn Bruce laid down a bunt that saw Factor beat the throw to the plate and a 4-2 lead.
That brought up another senior in Icenhower and she “iced” the game four pitches later. Looking at a 2-1 pitch, Jackson sent in a fastball that Icenhower ripped over the left centerfield fence on a line drive. It was her second grand slam of the season.
Uhr singled in her second trip to the plate (after Jayden Flowers walked) and Hurtz singled to plate the ninth run of the inning. Factor capped the inning with her second hit, ripping a double to the left centerfield wall to drive in two more run.
“It was a good feeling to hit a grand slam, especially on senior night,” Icenhower said. “I was just trying to get a hit to score the runs and try to make a run rule so we could get done early and go have some fun. She threw me a low pitch and I got the end of the barrel, but it still went over.
“We weren’t concerned when we got down by two runs early, I knew we would come out, we have run-ruled almost every team we have played, so I knew we could do it again. Once we started hitting the ball, the hits came continuously.”
Icenhower, who had two hits in three at-bats, ended the game in the bottom of the sixth with a walk-off single. Bre Johnson and Ashlynn Bruce had back-to-back singles to put the game ending run in scoring position. Icenhower, on a 2-0 pitch, lined a single that scored Johnson with the 12th run of the game.
Factor finished her night going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Uhr, Hurtz and Bruce all had two hits.
Webb picked up the win, going three innings and allowing the two runs on two hits. Johnson came in and shut the door on Putnam City, working the final three innings and not allowing a hit, while striking out four.