NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 13, 2010) _ Angeline Quiocho hit her first ever walk-off home run as a pro softball player to give the Tennessee Diamonds a 4-3 win over the Akron Racers.
Quiocho pounded the ball over the center field fence with two outs in seventh inning Friday night in front of 328 fans at Draper Diamond on the campus of Lipscomb University.
“After I hit it I was hoping it would bounce off the fence so I could be on second base for Jamie Lobpries to hit me in,” Quiocho said.
“When I saw it go over I was even more relieved.
“To come through for my team and actually contribute feels awesome.
Megan Gibson did a great job pitching tonight. I was glad I could help her out.”
Quiocho hit the first pitch from Akron pitcher Jamee Juarez for the home run.
“If I left the count more open then she would have jammed me a lot more,” Quiocho said. “So I felt like if I didn’t hop on the first pitch I would have struggled like I did in my first at bat.”
Diamonds coach Ernie Reynolds was not surprised that Quiocho, the No.
8 hitter in the lineup, went the distance for the game winner.
“She has a lightning fast set of hands,” Reynolds said. “She is swinging the bat 70 miles an hour. We were hoping she would see a pitch in the right location and see it early enough to do something with it.
“She hit the first pitch. That is the sign of a confident hitter.”
Every run in the game was scored on a home run despite no wind and the air heavy with humidity.
Juarez opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run homer to left center. Micaela Minner hit a solo shot over the fence in left center in the fourth inning to give the Racers a 3-0 lead.
The Diamonds rallied with a two-run homer from DeDe Justice over the 220-mark in center field in the fourth inning.
“With the pitchers that we face we have to make perfect contact to get it out there,” Justice said. “It is pretty much an all or nothing thing. With the air so thick you not going to get one to hang up there and travel.
“It can happen at any moment with any hitter. We have played these teams so many times that we can almost predict what pitches are coming. If we make solid contact it is going to go.”
Amanda Williams tied the game 3-3 in the sixth inning with a homer that bounced off and over the score board in right center.
Gibson threw a complete game for the win, raising her record to 4-8.
She allowed four hits and struck out four.
Juarez slipped to 6-10 with the loss. She gave up five hits. She struck out one and walked one.
“We typically have to string a couple of hits together or advance a runner with a bunt to manufacture four runs in a game,” Reynolds said.
“This time, like a few other nights, we scored everything with big swings.”
The Diamonds lead the series 2-0. The two teams play again Saturday night in a doubleheader with games at 4 and 7. Sunday afternoon the series concludes at 2.
DIAMOND GEMS: The home run by Juarez was her first of the season.
...Chelsea Spencer had the only stolen base in the game, her sixth of the season. …Justice and Minner both hit their fifth home runs of the season. Quiocho and Williams both hit their third.