It was only fitting that
final high school at-bat would result in a long home run as Pisgah (Ala.)
crushed Geneva (Ala.), 16-2, for its seventh Class 3A state softball championship since 1999.
It was going to be all or nothing in her swan song for the Eagles.
"I'm coming out of my shoes," she told coach Billy Duncan before she stepped to the plate. "I'm going to swing for the fence."
Duncan replied, "I wouldn't expect anything different."
The result was a 270-foot blast over the left-field fence for her national-record 35th home run this year and 72nd during her brilliant career. Though her six home runs as an eighth grader don't count for national records, they do leave her with a state-record 78.
"It looked like a beach ball," she said as she zeroed in on the last home run pitch.
She also finished her senior year with 16 doubles, 54 runs, 98 RBIs (on 92 hits), 55 walks, a .617 batting average and just two strikeouts.
Holley definitely did not rest on her laurels after setting season and career home run records the previous week. She added five more home runs to her total as the Eagles marched to the championship, finishing with a 43-13-1 record.
A strong candidate for National Softball Player of the Year, Holley has set the bar high. She hopes if her record ever is broken that it stays at Pisgah.
Eighth grade teammate Lillie McCrary
, a catcher-third baseman, hit six home runs this year – the exact total that Holley collected during her first varsity campaign. McCrary is on target.
The Pisgah team also set a national record this year with 71 home runs. The previous listed record was 59 by St. Amant (La.) in 2006.
* Holly Springs (N.C.) junior Erica Nunn
pitched a one-hitter with 18 strikeouts during a 5-1 victory over Wakefield (Raleigh, N.C.).
* Deer Valley (Glendale, Ariz.) senior Lauren Haeger
set a Class 4A/5A state record with 21 home runs this year and tied the career record with 48 home runs. She will attend the University of Florida.
* Simi Valley (Calif.) blanked Hart (Newhall, Calif.), 4-0, as Sophia Perez
recorded 15 strikeouts.*
Senior Taylor Webb
fired a no-hitter with 19 strikeouts as West Babylon (N.Y.) nipped Comsewogue (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.), 1-0.
* Karysta Donisthorpe
collected her fifth Class 4A state championship ring as Piedra Vista (Farmington, N.M.) defeated Farmington (N.M.), 5-0. The New Mexico State University recruit struck out 16 in the finale after hurling two no-hitters earlier in the week.* Ashley Thompson
, a 6-1 sophomore, pitched a perfect game and belted a pair of homers as Connell (Wash.) routed Mabton (Wash.), 10-0.
* Amie Carr posted her 200th career coaching victory as Fairport (N.Y.)
defeated Webster Thomas (Webster, N.Y.), 11-3.Continue reading for baseball, basketball, soccer and more