Oklahoma Bombers-Aud avenged a 4-0 pool play defeat to OK Exclusive 18U Premier-Hughes in style, winning the 18U championship at the Triple Crown OKC. In a six-inning battle, the Bombers emerged victorious by a margin of 12-9.
“It was a good win for the girls,” coach Mike Aud said. “We put in the work all winter, worked hard, and we were ready to come out and play. They kind of struggled at first, but they pulled it together and came out with a solid win.”
Despite seeing three runs cross home plate in the top of the first inning, the Bombers played from behind early as OK Exclusive took the lead in the bottom half of the frame.
A 2-RBI single from Shianna Woods put the first two runs on the board for OK Exclusive, and then Sara Llamas-Howell piggy-backed on Woods’ effort in the next at-bat.
Llamas-Howell plated two more teammates with her full-count 2-RBI double to give OK Exclusive the early 4-3 lead.
OK Exclusive extended its advantage to 7-4 in the bottom of the second inning, highlighted by Sierra Woods’ inside-the-park home run.
Sierra Woods laid down a bunt to advance her teammate but when the Bombers sent the throw to first base down the right field line, an innocent bunt turned into a 2-RBI sprint around the bases.
The Bombers didn’t wait long to respond.
“When we got down, we just decided that we weren’t going to give up and we kept pushing,” Bombers DP Emily Bingham said. “The message in the dugout was we just needed to keep fighting and never give up.”
After adding two runs in the top of the third, Ana Aguilar drilled a pitch to center field, recording a leadoff triple. In the ensuing at-bat, Emma Davis tied the game for the Bombers with a single that snuck into left field.
Taitum Bradshaw brought Davis home to give the Bombers the lead later in the inning, despite grounding out to third.
Aguilar came up big for her team again in the fifth when she drove in a run on a double to right field.
“We all came together and had the mentality of ‘swing, swing, swing’ and we were going to come out fighting and we weren’t going to give up without a fight,” pitcher Evy Aud said. “It feels really good.”
While the Bombers’ bats continued to produce, Evy Aud grew into the game in the circle.
After allowing five runs in the first two innings, she battled back to surrender just two runs in the remainder of the game. Keeping OK Exclusive off the board in the third and fourth innings, she allowed her team to regain the momentum and establish its foothold in the game.
“Evy has been real good about coming along and pushing the girls. She works hard, and she’s always been one to pull it out in the end,” coach Aud said of his pitcher’s fight throughout the game.
Evy Aud would give herself the final insurance run of the game in the top of the sixth. Aud laid down a perfectly placed bunt and beat out the throw to first base, bringing home Carly Kelley in the process.
“This is our first championship of the season and we’re really excited about that,” Evy Aud said. “I’m just happy that we fought and did our best.”
The Bombers look forward to building on their success in Oklahoma City throughout the summer.
“We’re headed to San Antonio next weekend and we’ll be coming out ready to swing the bat and feeling good on defense,” Bingham said.