National Cathedral junior Emily Kim was just thinking about putting the bat on the ball Saturday in the D.C. State Athletic Association softball championship game against Georgetown Visitation.
There was one out in the bottom of the seventh of a 1-1 game, and teammate Anika Jones stood on third base, representing the winning run at the Nationals Youth Academy in Southeast.
“I just relax, and I think, ‘Just make contact,’ ” Kim said. “That’s all you have to do.”
Simple as that, Kim drove a single to right, Jones scored, and the top-seeded Eagles walked off with a 2-1 win, their fourth straight DCSAA title.
“It’s really amazing to have had this all four years and to be able to have this experience and have this team behind me,” Jones said.
The rally reminded Eagles Coach Tracie Shaw of the teams’ regular season meeting, which National Cathedral (8-5) also won, 2-1.
“It was kind of like a replay,” Shaw said. “[Georgetown Visitation] went up 1-0 earlier in the game, and it was a battle to get that one run, and it was a battle to get the two that we got. But we stayed in it. One out at a time, we had to stay in it. And that was my mentality, one at a time.”
A single in the first inning from senior Joanna Malits drove in the sole run for No. 4 seed Georgetown Visitation (10-7).
Jones was named MVP after going 2 for 3 and scoring both runs. Kim drove her in each time, the first coming in the fifth to tie the game.
In the seventh, Jones hit a shot to center field. The ball dropped for a hit, then a misplay put Jones on third with none out.
“I didn’t realize I was going to hit a triple,” Jones said. “I just went up there and thought: ‘I’m going to hit it. I have to hit it because this is our last inning.’ ”
Three batters later, Kim delivered the winning hit.
Senior pitcher Jamie Wang struck out 13 in a complete game.
The championship marks a four-year run on top of D.C. softball for National Cathedral. What made this team stand out was its seniors, Shaw said, particularly Jones and Wang.
“To see [the team] play together in Florida,” Shaw said, “when we went there for spring training and then to see them here and have that work ethic pay off and all those hard practices that they hated so much when I made them run . . . this is why we do it.”