KIMBERLY — The game was every bit as advertised.
Top-notch pitching and long-ball hitting came together Thursday, as third-ranked Hayden edged No. 6 Mortimer Jordan 3-2 in a Class 5A Area 12 softball clash.
Wildcats pitcher Sharley Miller struck out 10 batters, while her Blue Devils counterpart Bailey Murphy fanned eight. But both pitchers also aided their own causes with their bats, as Miller drove in what proved to be the winning run and Murphy also had an RBI that got the Devils on the scoreboard.
Hayden third baseman Katie Parr got things started early when she launched a 1-and-1 pitch high over the center field fence, just past the flagpole in dead center for a two-run homer in the first inning.
Parr got on base again in the top of the fourth inning with a lead-off walk, then came around to score on on an error and successive singles. Miller's base hit down the left field baseline brought Parr home.
Center fielder Shelby Maze scored both Jordan runs. She reached base in the bottom of the fourth when her fly ball to center was misplayed, and came home on a Murphy hit to left.
Maze did all the work herself in the sixth when she blasted a 2-and-2 pitch deep into left field, over the head of a fielder playing shallow, for an inside-the-park lead-off solo homer.
The Devils threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh when second baseman Morgan Cantrell reached base on an error with one out. She was put out at second base when Natalie Johnsey hit into a fielder's choice, then Brooke Hill hit a routine grounder to third that ended the game.
Miller allowed just three hits and no walks with one hit batsman. Murphy gave up seven hits and the lone walk to Parr.