Destiny Williams picked the perfect time to have maybe the best day of her softball career.
"I was fired up all day," Williams said.
Williams blasted not one, but two, 2-run home runs and was a perfect 4-for-4 with five total RBIs to lead Augusta's softball team to a 12-9 victory against Topeka Hayden Thursday at the Class 4A state tournament.
It's been a up-and-down season for Williams, who has had to move spots in the outfield and has had her good and bad stretches at the plate. But Williams, a senior, came through when she needed to the most.
"Destiny Williams was phenomenal. She carried us and got us going in the first, home run in the next at-bat and she rolled from there," coach Shane Steinkamp said. "That kid deserved it. She has worked hard for us in a year that she could have given up."
With the win, the Orioles advance to the semifinals to face Pratt, which upset No. 3 Frontenac 10-4.
Williams doubled to get the Orioles' offense started in the first inning after Hayden jumped ahead 3-0, two of those runs unearned.
"We came out nervous in the first inning," Williams said.
Williams scored on a Hayden error, and Casady Marlnee later drove in a run to cut Hayden's lead to 3-2.
After Morgan Kirk singled in the second inning, Williams crushed her first home run to dead center to give Augusta a 4-3 lead.
"Her pitching speed was amazing," Williams said of Hayden pitcher Hayley Banister. "But she didn't place the ball too well, so it made it easier for us....The first time, I could see the catcher moving really fast. So I could tell it was going to be outside."
In the fourth, Williams smacked another 2-run home run. Kalie Robinson followed that up with a solo shot of her own to give Augusta an 8-3 lead.
Williams, Robinson, Katy Nordman and Marlnee all drove in runs in the sixth to seemingly ice the game with a 12-4 lead. But Hayden would not go down quietly. The Wildcats got six of their nine hits in the final inning and score five runs. They had two runners on before Brooke Eberhardt got a grounder to Nordman at third to end the inning.
"I was (nervous). But this is the type of team we've had all year," Steinkamp said. "It's making that one play and one pitch that you have to make. My gut said we got to stay with her...and she got it when she had to."
Other than the seventh, Eberhardt pitched a strong game. She had five strikeouts and, at one point, retired the side three straight innings.
Page 2 of 2 - The Orioles, now 22-0 on the season, are two wins away from their third state championship in program history.
"We can't go in being cocky," Williams said. "...Tomorrow's going to be a tough day."