CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- One wouldn't think that a simple third-inning foul-out near third base would matter much.
However, that very thing proved to perhaps be one of the biggest at-bats of the game between two of the top three teams in Class AA powers Herbert Hoover and Scott.
Even though Skyhawks standout Allyson Johnson was retired on the play, she did so after a long at-bat that saw the senior foul off numerous pitches en route to seeing 19 of them: basically everything that Hoover pitcher Allison Rager had to offer.
Johnson used it to her advantage in the top of the seventh, hitting a solo home run with two outs to give No. 3 Scott (19-7) the game-winning run in a 3-2 road victory over top-ranked Herbert Hoover (18-3) at Michael D. Chandler Field in Falling Rock.
Both teams believed the long at-bat earlier in the game by Johnson proved pivotal to her success in the seventh inning.
"Usually in a battle like she had, it goes into the batters favor," Scott Coach D.A. Harless said. "She battles all the time. She did not strike out at all last year. She didn't strike out until four games ago this year. You learn to expect that with her."
Johnson, a West Liberty signee, was ecstatic to give her team what proved to be the game-winner
"It was pretty big," Johnson said. "I swing with confidence, and hope for the best. "I think I pumped my team up and gave them the confidence that we had this game. I think that reassured them."
Hoover Coach Missy Smith said Rager had showed her hand in the previous match-up between pitcher and batter.
"Any time you see more pitches, it helps you as a batter and your team see in what all (a pitcher) is throwing," Smith said. "You can't substitute for pitch time, and (Johnson) hung in there."