Defending Champion Lufkin Hudson Erupts Late to Beat Burkburnett + Advance to Final
AUSTIN -- There was no panic when Lufkin Hudson trailed by two runs in the sixth inning of Thursday morning's Class 3A semifinal against Burkburnett.
The Lady Hornets had more to play for than an appearance in the state final -- a shot at back-to-back championships was still on the table.
Lufkin Hudson tied it up in the sixth before exploding for five in the seventh to take a 9-5 win over Burkburnett at Red & Charline McCombs Field.
“Last year we were kinda in awe, but this year we know what to expect," said Hudson coach Jimmy Eby. "We just know what to expect with the time … we just know. The experience helps.”
The Lady Hornets (37-7-1) will have their chance at consecutive crowns when they face Mineola (31-8) in the state final at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Hudson entered the top of the sixth facing a 4-2 deficit after Burkburnett (31-6-1) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
KK Parker led off the sixth with a single, and with one out, Madison Jeffrey stepped up to the plate. Jeffrey connected on a sharp grounder up the middle, and the ball ricocheted off the leg of Burkburnett second baseman Jordyn Faulkenbery and rolled all the way to the wall in left-center. Parker scored on the play, and Jeffrey advanced all the way to third.
Ashley Davis then connected with a game-tying RBI single, before Hudson overwhelmed Burkburnett with five runs in the top of the seventh. Cassidy Brasuell scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball, while Parker, Jeffrey and Madison Selman followed with run-scoring singles.
Burkburnett scored a run in the bottom of the seventh when Jaley Matterson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing Faulkenbery to the plate as the potential tying run. However, Hudson pitcher Kelsee Selman induced a groundout to end the game and send the Lady Hornets into Saturday's state final.
Kelsee Selman, who has signed with LSU, improved her record in the circle to 34-5. She allowed five runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts and four walks in seven innings.
“Guts, just guts," Eby said of his star pitcher, who homered in the top of the first for the game's first run. "She’s only about 80 percent right now, but we’re going to put her in the circle Saturday morning and see what happens.”
Bryli Lee went 2-for-3 with a homer, triple and two runs scored to help lead Hudson's 10-hit attack.
“She’s nails," Eby said of Lee. "She’s only a sophomore and she’s only going to get better. Hopefully some colleges will start looking at her. She’s a heckuva athlete, she came off the bench last year.”
Kelsee Selman, Parker and Madison Selman all had two hits in the winning effort.
“We swing the bats pretty good, we’ve just got to get confidence," Eby said. "Once we get confidence, we can hit."
Kylee Trahan (19-5), who authored a 29-strikeout, one-hitter in Burkburnett's 12-inning regional final win last Saturday, suffered the loss. She allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 10 hits with 11 strikeouts and four walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Burkburnett's Kaylea Armstrong was 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored to spark the Lady Bulldogs. Alyssa Tabion's homer to left tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first.
After Lee's homer put Hudson up 2-1 in the top of the fourth, Burkburnett rallied for three runs in the fifth. Armstrong tied it with a double, while Bryson Young and Casey Cannon came through with fielder's choice RBIs in the inning.
Lufkin Hudson 9, Burkburnett 5
Class 3A Semifinal
Red & Charline McCombs Field, Austin
Hudson 100 102 5 -- 9 10 1
Burkburnett 100 030 1 -- 5 7 3
Hudson: Kelsee Selman and Ashley Davis. Burkburnett: Kylee Trahan, Kaylea Armstrong (7) and Paige Daino.
WP -- Selman (34-5).
LP -- Trahan (19-5).
2B -- Burkburnett: Armstrong, Ally Hardaway.
3B -- Hudson: Bryli Lee.
HR -- Hudson: Selman (first inning, solo), Lee (fourth, solo). Burkburnett: Alyssa Tabion (first, solo).
Records -- Hudson: 37-7-1. Burkburnett: 31-6-1.
Attendance -- 347.