Julia Higgins jumps on home plate as her teammates wait to mob her after her game-winning home run.

Higgins Plays Hero in Dramatic Walk-Off Win

The Lady Tigers softball team fell behind 6-1, and that’s when Webb City should have known it was in trouble.

In a season full of dramatic comebacks, Republic saved one of the best for its biggest game of the year so far. Julia Higgins swatted a three-run homer deep over the right field fence in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving Republic a walk-off 8-7 win over the Cardinals to keep the Lady Tigers unbeaten in conference play.

After Republic scored a single run in the bottom of the first inning, Webb City responded with a pair of three-run innings in the third and fourth, securing a 6-1 lead. It stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth, when the Lady Tigers started clawing their way back.

Republic scored two runs in the fifth, but Webb City scored a single run in the top of the sixth to stretch its lead to 7-3. The Lady Tigers scored two in the bottom of the sixth, getting them within striking distance in the seventh, with the top of the order due up.

Kaitlyn Ragsdale reached on a bunt single and Megan Weis worked a walk. When the ball got away from the catcher on ball four, Ragsdale went to third base and Weis advanced to second. That brought up Higgins, who hammered a two-strike pitch to the opposite field, lining the ball over the fence and plunking coach Lee Dishman’s pickup truck, which was parked beyond the outfield.

“We were really worked up through the whole game, and there was a relaxation…that came over me,” says Higgins. “When I get really stressed, I’ll just reach a point and be, ‘Okay, we’ve just got to do it.’ And I think that’s what came over us.”

The Lady Tigers improve to 15-2 overall. They’re 7-0 in the conference with two games remaining.

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