Two of the best teams in the state played on Monday and only one run was scored, as the Windsor/Stew-Stras Hatchets were shutout for the only time this year. Hardin Calhoun (30-4) knocked WSS out of the playoffs at the Springfield Super-Sectional on Monday, 1-0.
In the bottom of the 1st Hardin got a 1-out single off Megan Schlechte. The runner got to 2nd on a wild pitch and to 3rd on a wild pitch. Ava Bennett made a play on a ground ball, 2nd to 1st, but the run scored.
That's not a problem it's just the 1st inning, so you get the sure out. However, it would be the only score of the game and cost the Hatchets a change to repeat as state champs.
The pitchers were in near-perfect form. Schlechte threw 3 and 2/3 innings allowing one run, one hit, 2 walks and 3 Ks. reliever Calla Roney threw 2 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on no hits, walking zero and striking out 6.
Schlechte did start out behind batters with just 5 first-pitch strikes against 14 batters. Roney had 6 first pitch strikes against 7 batters. Schlechte threw 58 pitch with 34 strikes (58.6%). Roney threw 25 pitches, 19 strikes (76%).
The Hardin pitcher, Sydney Baalman went the distance, throwing a 1-hit shutout, walking 3 and striking out 14. She clearly won the pitching duel. She threw first-pitch strikes to half of her opponents (13/26).
She did throw 124 pitches with 76 strikes (.613). She averaged 4.7 pitches per batter. However, she won 14 of those battles, keeping the usually successful WSS hitters of the from creating scores.
WSS went in order in the 1st on a fly our and 2 Ks. Tabbert walked to lead-off the 2nd, but another fly out and 2 more Ks followed. All three hatchets fanned in the 3rd inning. Two more struck out in the 4th, while Tabbert reached again, getting hit by a pitch and Roney line to right.
In the 5th, a line out and a ground out was followed by Maddy Pfeiffer drawing a walk. Natalie Hayes came in to run. She stole 2nd and 3rd to set up the tying run at 3rd. The batter struck out.
In the 6th, a pop out and a K started to signal trouble for the reigning champs. Schlechte walked and stole 2nd to get into scoring position. The next batter struck out.
In the last-chance 7th, A line out and a strikeout brought WSS to the precipice. Ava Bennett slapped the only WSS single of the game with 2 outs in the 7th. She stole 2nd and 3rd and was just 60 feet away. The next batter struck out ending the Hatchets season at Super-Sectional.
Defensively, the Hatchets were flawless. Second baseman Bennett made all 3 plays on a pop up, a grounder, and a line out in the 1st. In the 2nd, 1st baseman Katrina Davis made a 3-unassisted play on a liner and then on a grounder. Schlechte KO'd the next batter.
In the 3rd, Schlechte threw 2 Ks and threw out the other batter on a ground ball. Schlechte walked two in the 4th after Tabbert caught a pop up by the plate and shortstop Karlie Bean threw out a batter at 1st. With two on and two out, Roney came in to pitch and won a 3-2 battle.
In the 5th, Roney struck out the side. In the 6th, Roney threw out the first batter and threw two more Ks. Only 3 Hardin players reached base on a single and two walks and that was enough for the win.
Hardin Calhoun 1, Windsor/Stew-Stras 0
WSS 000 000 0--0-1-0
HCal 100 000 x--1-1-0
WSS stats: Cole 0-for-3; H Hayes 0-for-3; M Schlechte 0-for-2, BB, SB; Tabbert 0-for-1, BB, HBP, 3 SB; Roney 0-for-3; Bean 0-for-3; Bennett 1-for-3, 2 Sb; Pfeieffer 0-for-2, BB (N Hayes 2 SB); Davis 0-for-1; Reynolds 0-for-1. Pitching (L) Schlechte 3.6 IP, 1 run, 1 hit, 2 BBs, 2 WP, 3 Ks; Roney 2.3 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks.
H Cal stats: Lorton 0-for-3; S Baalman 0-for-3, RBI; H Baalman 0-for-1, BB; Sievers 0-for-2; Cranmer 0-for-2; Polman 0-for-2; Presley 0-for-1, BB; Kallai 1-for-3, run; Brannan 0-for-2. Pitching (W) S Baalman 7 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 3 BBs, 14 Ks.