Softball: Horizon unloads in sixth to rally past Skyline

April 22, 2014 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365

Jordan Wehr hasn't pitched much this season. Chelbie Oden hasn't found herself in a reserve role very often. Both players were at the ready Tuesday afternoon in helping Horizon rally for a 9-4 Division I softball victory over Skyline at Skyline High School.

Wehr, a junior, spelled Horizon ace T Statman in the bottom of the fourth after Skyline managed to score a run and lead 3-2. Statman was in trouble much of the 3 2/3 innings she worked. Little of that trouble was her own doing as Skyline stranded eight runners in the first four innings. Still, Horizon coach Jackie Coburn called on Wehr to relieve and Wehr responded with 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief. Wehr allowed an unearned run with which Skyline took a 4-3 lead after five innings. But Wehr's teammates had her back scoring six times and stroking five hits in the sixth inning that turned the game the Lady Huskies' way. Wehr is 4-0 and pitched for the first time since April 1.

"We're focused on winning these last two weeks and it doesn't matter if its 2-1 or 15-0," Coburn said. "We haven't hit the ball well in the month of April so it was nice to see the bats come alive late. We've lost some close games. This one was very sloppy, but it's the time of year you have find a way to win."

Oden, the team leader in RBI with 18, pinch-hit in the fateful sixth and ripped a game-tying single. Kaila Jacobi followed with another hit to put Horizon ahead for good. Several Skyline miscues added to the inning and when the frame ended Horizon had sent 10 batters to the plate. The table setters in the inning were Sami Wells, Gabby Moreno and Statman. They scored as did Oden, Jacobi and Haley Boyce.

"She (Oden) has been struggling some and I''ve gone to some different lineups," Coburn said. "I was glad to see how she and Jordan responded. We're going to be using just about everyone from here on out. Everyone needs to be ready."

Horizon (20-7 overall, 11-3 power-ranking games) is still in the mix for a first-round bye, which every team craves since it will limit the top eight teams to one elimination game at state rather than two. Horizon was No. 9 prior to Tuesday's game. Skyline (19-6, 10-4 prg) was resting between 16 and 19 on Tuesday since its 6-5 win over Mesa High on Monday was not fully computed in Tuesday's rankings. Both teams will have to play better than they did Tuesday to avoid a short tournament stay. The teams combined for nine errors (generously), lacked communication too often defensively and did not run the bases well.

Statman led Horizon going 3-for-5 and scoring twice. Jacobi, Jenna Beeso and Wells added two hits apiece. Skyline's Brennah Vaughan had two hits and an RBI and Maddy Mercer chipped in a two-run double in the second inning.