Budd strikes out 16 in championship game
DEPEW – Ashlyn Clift clobbered a two-run homer over right field propelling the Sterling Lady Tigers to a 2-0 win over Strother Saturday night in the Depew Tournament championship game.
Clift’s home run was Sterling’s only hit of the game, but it was all the team needed thanks to a strong pitching performance from Kaleigh Budd, who limited Strother to zero runs on two hits while striking out 16 batters.
The matchup was a rare pitching duel as 75 of Budd’s 96 pitches were strikes. Her Strother opponent struck out 15 and walked two.
“She (Budd) is throwing really well and picking up confidence,” Sterling head coach Marty Curry said.
Neither team produced any offense until the top of the fifth inning when Sterling’s Ellie Pierce reached base after being hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Clift went deep over the right field fence as Sterling scored the only two runs of the game.
Budd had little trouble the rest of the game with only one Strother hitter reaching base the final three innings. The lone runner reached base on an error with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Budd struck out the final hitter on three consecutive pitches.
Ranked No. 8 in Class A, Sterling advanced to the title game with a 17-0 win over Carney-Agra in the first round followed by a 10-2 victory over Porter.