Baylee Anderson was one of the main catalysts for the Palmyra softball team's run to a district championship.
With players such as Brooke Wilson, Bailey Lovelace and Alana Comstock, it’s been easy for Baylee Anderson to fly under the radar this season.
But after being one of the main catalysts for the Palmyra softball team’s run to a district championship, such may not be the case moving forward.
In the Lady Panthers 3-2 win over Clark County in the district semifinals, Anderson came up with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.
It was the third and final run and proved to be the game winner.
The senior first baseman added to her postseason heroics Monday night, delivering yet another clutch two-out RBI single. The run scoring hit also came in the first inning.
More impressive, Anderson battled back from being down no balls and two strikes in the at-bat. She worked her way to a more favorable situation, 2-2, before hitting an opposite field single.
“You just have to foul off the close ones you don’t like and keep battling up there,” Anderson said of her first-inning at-bat. “And finally it just worked.”
Anderson would later add another single in the sixth inning to spark a 2-run rally. The two late runs gave starting pitcher Alana Comstock more breathing room.
Anderson said she’s just glad she can help her team win games.
“Since any game now is a risk of it being our last game, I don’t want to strike out and I am just trying to do the best for my team,” the senior said. “I am not ready for this to end and I am just glad it is paying off.”
One other person who is glad her teammate is producing this postseason is Comstock.
With the run support Anderson is helping with both early and late, it takes pressure off the shoulders and pitching arm of the Lady Panthers junior ace.
“Her hits have been big,” Comstock said. “It really boosts us up. She’s been awesome for us all season and I am just so thankful she’s been able to do that for our team this year. It really makes the pitchers feel more relaxed going back out on the mound with those runs.”
With four hits in seven trips to the dish in the Panthers two district games, Anderson is now batting .373 on the season and has batted in 17 runs. Both are good for third on the team.
Anderson has batted No. 6 for the better part of the season. Monday, Panthers coach Jill Arch decided to switch the lineup around and Anderson moved up two spots.
“She’s a very good contact hitter,” Arch said of her first baseman. “She puts the ball in play and that’s what we need and a reason why we decided to move her up tonight.”
Monday night was not always easy for Anderson and the Lady Panthers. The first baseman committed one of four errors in the game.
“Our defense was not at our best tonight,” she admitted. “But we made plays when we needed to the most.”
Anderson made one of those critical plays as well.
With the bases loaded, Anderson squeezed a foul pop up to end the top of the sixth inning. It was the first fielding chance she had since her second-inning gaffe.
“I was like, ‘Oh shoot,’ I better not drop this one,” she admitted. “That was an out we needed and I am glad I was able to make the play to help get us out of the jam.”
And just like most great team players, Anderson is sure to laud the teammates around her.
“I am just so proud of my team,” she said. “They are all so supportive no matter what. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without them.”
Without Anderson, the Lady Panthers season may have already been over.
Palmyra (18-8) plays host to North Callaway (20-5) in a Class 2 state sectional game on Wednesday.
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.