By Jerry Ramig
Herald Sports Writer
MORRISON, Ill. — The West Carroll Thunder softball team improved its record to 27-8 as it had to play an extra inning for a 6-4 win against the Morrison Fillies in a Class 2A regional semifinal Wednesday.
The loss ended a string of seven consecutive regional titles for Morrison, which played in the third-place game at the state tournament each of the past two years.
West Carroll scored two runs, (one was unearned) in the top of the eighth inning to advance to Saturday’s 10 a.m. championship game in Morrison against top-seeded Milledgeville/Polo, which advanced Tuesday when it scored one run in the bottom of the 10th inning to take a 1-0 victory from the Riverdale Rams.
“The key to the game was being able to come back after Morrison took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth,” West Carroll coach Don Mathey said. “Also, we were able to escape the bottom of the seventh as Jordan Kasbohm (who finished with 12 strikeouts) really bore down and struck out the last five batters.”
Katie Wiersema, who scored three runs, started the Thunder rally with a one-out walk. She stole second base and scored on a single by Jennesa Miller (2-for-4) for a 5-4 lead. Miller later scored her third run of the game on a wild pitch after moving up on an error.
The Fillies had a 4-2 lead heading into the sixth inning when the Thunder scored two runs to tie the game.
It was a pitchers dual for the first three innings. Morrison’s Christie Wiersema singled in the first inning, was sacrificed to second but was left stranded. In the third, Morrison got singles from Sam Sumption and Hailey Hall, but the Thunder got out of the inning with a strikeout and groundout.
Morrison pitcher Amanda Smith retired the first 11 batters and then with two outs in the fourth the Thunder came up with two runs on two hits and two errors for a 2-0 lead. Katie Wiersema singled, Miller reached on an error, Jordan Kasbohm singled in a run and Miller scored on another error.
In the bottom of the fifth with two outs, the Fillies got their bats going as they came up with four runs on four hits to go on top 4-2.
Sumption started things off with her second hit, a two-out single to center, followed by a single by Hall and Marie Deter reaching first on a dropped third strike to load the bases. A single by Kerrie Tenboer drove in one run, then Smith doubled to deep right field to clear the bases and give the Fillies a 4-2.
In the sixth inning the Thunder created a little excitement. With one out, Katie Wiersema walked. Miller followed with a run-scoring double, and she scored on Kayla Kasbohm’s two-out single to tie the game 4-4.
Morrison threatened to end it in the bottom of the seventh. Hall led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and moved to third on an infield hit by Tenboer. Smith walked to load the bases, but winning pitcher Jordan Kasbohm struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
The Fillies closed their season with a 21-11 record. Morrison coach Tammy Deter had nothing but good comments about the game and praised her team for a great season.
“Our team played a great game, and they never gave up. We think this was a very tough regional, and we knew we had to play hard, and I think the girls did just that. I am very happy with them.”
Score by Innings
West Carroll 000 202 02 — 6 5 3
Morrison 000 040 00 — 4 10 0
Jordan Kasbohm and Katie Wiersema; Amanda Smith, Danielle Stralow (8) and Kerrie Tenboer. Two or more hits — West Carroll (Jennesa Miller 2); Morrison (Hailey Hall 3, Tenboer 2, Sam Sumption 2). 2B — West Carroll (Miller); Morrison (Smith). RBIs — West Carroll (Miller 2, J. Kasbohm, Kayla Kasbohm); Morrison (Smith 3, Tenboer).
By Jerry Ramig