Hoffman’s walk-off leads Royals to 6-5 win


BLOOMDALE — Elmwood freshman Addi Hoffman’s double to the right-center field gap allowed Tianna Galbraith to score the winning run in a key 6-5 victory over visiting Blanchard Valley Conference foe Van Buren Wednesday.

The Royals had runners on second and third with one out and the score tied 5-5, and Elmwood needed Hoffman to pull through to stay unbeaten in the BVC.

“I think it is really good for the whole team to come together and pull out that win,” Elmwood pitcher Allyie Reynolds said.

Hoffman’s line drive split the Black Knight’s outfielders and reached the fence, scoring not only the walk-off run, but could have scored both runners, but the second run no longer mattered. It was Hoffman’s only hit of the day.

“It just feel great, you know,” Hoffman said. “I wasn’t hitting the best and that one really boosted my confidence and we needed it.”

Elmwood is 7-8 overall, but 4-0 in the BVC. In the previous 11 softball seasons in the Northern Buckeye Conference, Elmwood won two championships (2013, 2015), but they now control their own destiny in their inaugural season in the BVC.

“We’ve been talking about this game all season,” Elmwood coach Emily Reynolds said. “Van Buren has been at the top of their league for I don’t know how long now, and it is always our goal to hang a banner.

“We knew that this was going to be a big one. If we wanted to do it, we had to win this one. Now, we have a few more that we have to win but this is a key one.”

But the Royals had to overcome a Van Buren home run in the top of the seventh that put the Black Knights up 5-3. Coach Reynolds said her girls needed some encouragement before their final at-bat.

“Right there at the end, when they came off, it was defeating when Van Buren hit that home run,” coach Reynolds said.

“It’s the seventh inning and you’re worried about it, but when the girls came off, I told them, ‘You know, they think this game is over. This game is not over. This is our field and we have the right people up to bat.’ That’s what we needed.”

The Royals scored three times to get the walk-off win, but it started with two seniors — Galbraith and Mariela Garcia.

“I had two seniors leading off the inning, Tianna and Mariela, and I went up to them and I said, ‘You’re seniors. There is nobody that I trust on this team more than you two,” coach Reynolds said.

“They went out and got on base. ‘T’ got a walk, ‘Mars’ got that base hit and that set the tone for the inning. Zero outs with somebody on first and second, that’s huge.”

Meanwhile, Allyie Reynolds had to keep her poise in the circle against a good-hitting VB team, no matter what happened.

“I think I really had to dig deep and just keep pushing and don’t give up even if they did hit one over the fence,” Allyie Reynolds said.

Allyie Reynolds struck out five, walked two, allowed nine hits and four earned runs in seven innings, throwing 126 pitches, including 74 for strikes while facing 33 batters. But she almost did not play.

“Mid-day, I was actually not going to come because I was like sick, but then I pushed through and realized that this means a lot, so I have to push through,” Allyie Reynolds said. “I’m so glad — I’m so happy (I showed up).”

Dakota Rader King led Elmwood at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Leah Allison was 2-for-4 with a stolen base and scored twice, and Trinity Sander was 2-for-4 with a triple. Garcia had a base hit, RBI, and two stolen bases.

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