OHS softball team wins district title

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee mound ace Jill Crosby shut out the South Fork Lady Bulldogs, 3-0, Thursday as the Lady Brahmans earned their first district softball title since 2012.

The April 27 home win puts Okeechobee into regional play as a host school on May 3 when they take on William T. Dwyer — the team that eliminated them from post season play last year.

Crosby allowed just five hits and saw her teammates play errorless softball in a game that was tense throughout.

Crosby said this might be her best softball memory so far.

“It is pretty high up there, it just feels really good,” she said.

Crosby took some advice and spent more time warming up. She was at her best from the start, whipping pitches into the strike zone time after time.

“I knew I had a defense behind me. It really showed tonight. I felt they would also be behind me on offense. I just knew I had to do my job,” she added.

Lauren Bostwick helped Crosby with a double and run scored in the second inning to give the Lady Brahmans the lead. It turned out to be all the Lady Brahmans needed to advance. Bostwick also played an outstanding game defensively as she made a tough catch against the fence in the third and then made a diving catch to rob Sam Williams of at least a double in the sixth. “It was so fun. I was really happy when I did it,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d get it at first but when I got close to it I knew I had it,” she said afterward. “I love this team. We work so well together. I think we can go far.”

Okeechobee tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh. Okeechobee, in a rarity, was the away team, because of a coin flip, which made South Fork the #1 seed.

Kassie Weldon started the rally with a single. The junior said she was so excited to win a district title because she has waited since she was a freshman for this moment.

“Obviously Jill did a great job pitching tonight. I felt it coming. You just have to take every at bat as it comes and make adjustments. We’ve waited for this forever. We’ve always been runners up to South Fork and this year we did it. It is so amazing,” she said.

Halle McDuffie followed with a single, Haley Underhill walked to load the bases and Megan Hargraves drew a bases loaded walk for a 2-0 lead.

Bostwick’s grounder was misplayed which allowed McDuffie to score the third run.

“We all wanted to beat South Fork. We knew we could do it and we were pretty confident that we could win,” McDuffie said afterward.

Crosby ended up allowing just five hits as she chalked up four Ks.

Okeechobee head coach Mary Huff said the one thing she wanted this year was a district title. The team pushed themselves hard, and never got too high or too low.

“It feels awesome. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. It was so nice to get it done at home and against South Fork, a huge rival. I can’t put it into words what it means to me and the kids definitely earned it,” said the coach.

Huff said while she appreciated the large crowd Thursday, she would like even more fans to be on hand next Wednesday when they open regional play.

The Lady Brahmans show off their trophy as the District 7A-13
softball champions for 2017 after Thursday’s game.

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