Lakota’s Bickford channels her inner Jedi to victory
FINDLAY – She may be a sophomore, but Aubrey Bickford is the baby of the family.
So when the Lakota softballer was born, her older sister would carry her around on her hip and couldn’t pronounce her name. Instead it came out “OB.”
Her father Jeff explained it morphed into O.B.B. after the Naughty by Nature song of a similar title, “O.P.P.”
“It stands for Other Baby Bickford,” Aubrey said. “I’m the last one of the Bickfords.”
But there may be another suggestion for her nickname.
How about OB-1?
She could be confused for being the last of the Jedi.
With a batting stance routine that resembles a Jedi lighting up a lightsaber, Bickford emulated more Obi Wan Kenobi than a rap star Thursday afternoon in the Division IV regional semifinal against Patrick Henry.
She used good swings (and maybe a little of the Force) in a 2-for-4 day to get Lakota on the board and in the lead – a lead it didn’t relinquish in a 5-2 victory.
“I didn’t have a hard time. I had to stay focused and hit the ball and go for base hits,” Bickford said.
With Lakota down 1-0 in the fourth, Bickford wielded her bat to deliver a clutch hit. With Bree Long-Meyer on second and two outs, Bickford singled to center, driving in Long-Meyer to tie the game.
Two innings later, it was Bickford who did the scoring, with a one-out single. She raced around and scored a batter later when Destiney Long-Meyer tripled into the right field gap. The run gave Lakota a 2-1 lead and the Raiders didn’t look back on their way to the regional finals.
“Aubrey is a good hitter,” Lakota coach Chris Chalfin said. “She’s a really good hitter and she’s had a really great year. She normally doesn’t make too many mistakes at the plate. She normally hits strikes, doesn’t chase out of the zone. And you know, she hit the ball solid and we capitalized on it.”
Those are nice nicknames, but being part of the first regional team in Lakota history, she’s even more excited about another name at the moment: regional finalist.
“It feels really good. We had a little nerves coming in but we overcame them and we pushed through and we won,” Bickford said.
Her father reminded the team not to settle for that name but rather another: regional champion.