Benson packaged an extra-base hit barrage in the second and and third innings -- four two-baggers or better overall among its seven hits -- to build a 4-0 lead Monday night and went on to defeat Bourgade Catholic, 5-1, and capture the 2A softball title at ASU's Farrington Stadium.
The championship was the second in six years for second-seeded Benson (27-7) and avenged a pair of regular-season losses to top-seed Bourgade (28-6). Sophomore pitcher Katie Sherman was outstanding in the circle for the Bobcats, surrendering three hits, walking three and striking out three. Bourgade was bidding for its first title in softball since 2012.
Benson pieced together three hits in the second inning to score the game's first two runs. Singles by Cori Jackson and Ashleigh Davis sandwiched around a pop out and sacrifice brought No. 9 hitter Jamie Barney to the plate. Barney, a left-handed hitter, sliced a doulbe that hit the chalk on the left-field line scoring Jackson and Davis.
Bourgade pitcher Mallory McDowell, pitched well overall, but the extra-base hits stung. Benson tallied twice more in the third with the Bobcats' shortstop Emmarae Wilson belting McDowell's first pitch in the thid over the left field fence. Hope Adams followed with a double deep in the left-field corner and she eventually scored on a safety squeeze by Sophia McCoy to make it 4-0.
The lone run of the game for Bourgade scored in the bottom of the third, thanks mainly to the speed of leadoff hitter Rachel Hammons. Hammons drew a one-out walk and stole second. She crossed home on a single by McDowell, who ended up stranded on second to end the inning.
Sherman bailed herself out of a fifth inning threat, as one runner reached on an error and Hammons followed with a single. With runners at second and third and one out, Sherman induced a pop out to short and foul out to the catcher to end the threa.
Benson tacked on its final run in the seventh using Adams' second double for the RBI. The Bobcats finished the game with flair by turning a double play. With runners on second and third, Adams threw out McDowell at third on a ground out. The DP was completed with Jackson gunning down Daisy Hernandez at home.