LONDON – In dramatic walk-off fashion, the top-seeded Humber softball team won its third OCAA Championship and first since 2013 on Saturday with a 3-2 win over four-time defending champion Durham in the title game at Alumni Field in London, Ontario.
"The adversity we went through throughout the year to fortify ourselves into a championship-calibre team, that showed up this weekend, and for the last two or three weeks we've been playing at this clip," said Coach Bowles. "I'm proud of this team and to see all of their hard work pay off with a provincial title means everything to me."
Coach Bowles went unorthodox in the title game, implementing senior reliever Myranda Pierson as the game's opener. The hard-throwing righty left it all on the field, firing 3.1 innings of shutout ball, scattering four hits while picking up three strikeouts.
In a scoreless game, the Hawks (22-5) broke through in the fourth inning on Kate Kostuch's RBI single that scored Presly Buchanan. Hannah Koziolek followed that up with a single to right field to score Meagan Muir.
OCAA Pitcher of the Year Presly Buchanan relieved Pierson in the circle and cruised through the next 2.2 innings, with Humber three outs away from winning its first title in six years. Buchanan battled a tight zone to begin the final inning, walking two of Durham's first three hitters. The Lords capitalized on the free bases when MacIntyre doubled on a misplayed ball to tie the game.
Closer Kadyn Wotton entered the game in the eighth inning with a Durham runner beginning the frame on second base and shut the door. The second-year pitcher induced weak contact, retiring all three Durham hitters in order.
The shutdown performance by Wotton opened the door for the heroics from freshman Jessica MacPherson, who was the only player to pick up multiple hits off of Durham ace Ashley Black.
Presly Buchanan was named tournament MVP after finishing the tournament with a 1-0 record, throwing 9.1 innings, allowing two earned runs and picking up five strikeouts. She also finished 5-for-10 at the plate with a triple, and two RBIs. Meagan Muir and Kate Kostuch were named to the all-tournament team.
- Humber went undefeated to capture the title for just the second time in program history.
- The Hawks outscored the competition 17-4 in the tournament.
- Humber improves to 15-13 all-time in postseason play.
- Presly Buchanan joins Hall of Famers Kelsey Bardy (2012) and Jessica O'Quinn (2013) as the only Humber players to be named championship MVP.
- Humber improves to 5-5 all-time against Durham in postseason play.