For senior Armani Branham, the grand slam against Bryan Adams was “the highlight of my softball career.”
Armani’s blast tied the score at 7-7 against Bryan Adams on March 27 at the North Dallas field. The Lady Bulldogs eventually lost.
The Lady Bulldogs play at Seagoville at 4:30 p.m. Friday in a District 12-5A game, followed by the JV game at 6:30 p.m.
“It was perfect,” North Dallas coach Chris Barnhill said of Armani’s grand slam. “In that particular game, we needed to catch up and we needed four runs. It was at the right time, just a clean line drive. ”
Armani said, “That felt amazing to bring the team back up and get the morale going.”
The bases were full of Lady Bulldogs — with Sophia Hernandez, Aileen Arias, and Tina Nguyen on base — when Armani came up to bat. She swung at the first two pitches, and was down in the count at 0-2.
“She said the umpire told her to relax, right before that pitch came,” Barnhill said. “She was trying to hammer it and even the umpire told her to relax and you’re going to get it… and it was gone.”
As she stood at the plate, Armani said her nerves were calm and “it was just me and the pitcher.”
Then the pitch came “straight down the middle.” She was swinging.
“I was planning on it. This is the one. This is the one I’m going to get,” Armani said. “I didn’t expect it to be a grand slam. It went straight down the middle and over the fence.
“The next thing you know, it was a grand slam,” she said.
Barnhill said she had such a “nice level swing. It had to go.”
Armani said she saw the centerfielder just watch it go over the fence.
“She knew that it wasn’t going to be in the park,” Armani said. “I kinda watched it and then I took off running.
“I was screaming the whole time,” she said as she circled the bases, “and then I saw the girls come out and greet me at home plate. That was pretty exciting.”
Armani became the first North Dallas softball player to hit a home run, Barnhill said.
Armani said she got the ball and everybody signed it. She said she had “dreams about it. That was my goal freshman year.”
Barnhill said Armani is having a “great” season.
“She’s been here three years. This is definitely her best season,” he said.
With three games remaining, Armani said the “season is going pretty good. Batting-wise, we’ve all improved and we’re getting on base more. I’m proud of that.”
The Lady Bulldogs have road games at Seagoville on Friday and Adamson on April 17, before closing the season with Senior Night against Woodrow Wilson on April 20.