They were expecting a rain out, what they got was a nail-biter. In a game that resembled a state playoff, more then a non-conference regular season game, the State Champion Windsor/Stew-Stras Hatchets (31-0-1) escaped Cumberland with a win, 4-1.
Last year, Cumberland was one of just 4 teams to beat WSS and the only 1A team to beat them, en route to their state title. Liberty Dunaway shutout the Hatchets 3-0. After losing to Cumberland in the season, WSS beat them in the sectional final, getting revenge, 5-0.
Dunaway did not pitch this game for the Pirates, Hendry did. She went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs on 9 hits with a walk, a hit batter and just 2 Ks. She threw 1st pitch strikes to 21 of 28 batters. She threw 83 pitches, 55 strikes and 28 balls (66% Ks)
Megan Schlechte threw for WSS instead of Calla Roney. Schlechte went 7 inning, allowing one un on 6 hits, with 2 walks and 8 Ks. She threw 1st pitch strikes to 14 of 29 batters. She threw 114 pitches, 69 strikes and 45 balls (61% Ks). But she rang up 6 more batters.
WSS out-hit the Bucs 9 to 6. Cumberland left 7 on base and WSS 6. WSS committed an error, Cumberland didn't. The Bucs gad 4 batters hit safely and two with multiple hits. WSS had 6 batters hit safely and 3 with multiple hits.
Of the 9 WSS hits, 3 were doubles. Cumberland had no extra-base hits. Mackenzi Tabbert was 2-for-3 with a double and a run. Ava Bennett and Schlechte added doubles. Freshman Karlie Bean was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI. Senior lead-off batter Carson Cole was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Pirate lead-off batter, Hendry, was 2-for-4 with a run and Maynard was 2-for-3 with a walk.
Schlechte bent, but didn't break in the 1st. She KO'd the first batter, but then gave up a single and one of her two walks.With one out, she rang up the next batter. Roney scooped a grounder at 3rd and stepped on the base for the force out.
WSS went down in order on a fly, a ground out, and a liner to short. The Bucs came back, but they went in order. A lead-ff single was followed by a Schlechte K. The runner tried to steal 2nd, but Tabbert gunned her down as shortstop Karlie Bean put on the tag. The next batter hit to Ava Bennett and was out, 2nd to 1st.
WSS took the lead in the 2nd. Tabbert led off with a double. Roney sacrificed her to 3rd. Nean got beaned and WSS had runners at the corners with one out. Bennett came through with an RBI double. Bean held up at 3rd. Hendry came back with K and a ground kept it, 1-0 WSS.
The Pirates pulled back even in the 3rd. Schlechte threw out the first batter at 1st, then gave up another single and a walk. Dunaway singled to load the bases with one out. Oakley lifted a fly ball right. Hendry tagged on the out and scored, 1-1. Schlechte snared a line drive to go to the WSS 3rd.
Cole led off with a single. Hayes hit into a fielder's choice for the force at 2nd. Schlechte stroked a double and the speedy Hayes scored from 1st for the lead, 2-1. Schlechte got to 3rd on the play at home. She stayed on a ground out. Bean slapped a 2-out single and Schlechte scored, 3-1.
Cumberland needed to respond. They went in order. Bennett squeezed a pop up at 2nd. Schlechte fielded a grounder and made the play at 1st. Schlechte won a 3-2 battle with a K. WSS hit the ball in the 4th, but right at the Bucs and went 1, 2, 3.
Cumberland got two on in the 5th. After a K, an error allowed a runner and a single put runners on the corners with one out. Schlechte answered with a K. She scooped another ground ball and threw to 1st for the 3rd out.
Tabbert singled with two outs in the WSS 5th, but was stranded. The Bucs went in order in the 6th. Schlechte rang up the first batter and threw out the second. A fly ball to center was tracked down by Cole.
The Hatchets added an insurance run in the 6th.bean led off with a single. With one out, freshman Maddy Pfeiffer singled to center. Natalie Hayes ran for Pfeiffer and Mackinzee Reynolds batted.
Reynolds lifted a fly to right. Bean tagged on the catch and went to 3rd. Cole came up and smacked an RBI single, 4-1. Hayes went to 3rd. Cole stole 2nd, but Hayes was out at home to end the inning.
The Bucs were looking for a rally in the 7th. Schlechte KO'd the first batter. She threw out the next batter at 1st. The opposing pitcher and lead-off batter, Hendry tried to jump start a 2-out rally with a single. However, the next batter hit to 3rd and Roney made the play to 1st to end the game.
WSS and Cumberland could meet in the sectional final again this year. Cumberland will have to get past #1 sub-sectional seed Casey. WSS is the other #1 sub-sectional seed. WSS beat Casey two weeks ago in another playoff atmosphere, in 8 innings, 5-3.
WSS is to play at Cowden-Herrick/Beecher City on Thursday, if it is not rained out, then have a rematch with Mt. Zion at Mt. Zion on Friday. The last time the game was called after 10 innings, tied at 7-7. Mt. Zion went to 3A State last year, placing 4th in a run-fest, losing to New Lennox (Providence), 16-15.
Windsor/Stew-Stras 4, Cumberland 1
C'land 001 000 0--1-6-0
W/SS 012 001 x--4-9-1
WSS stats: Cole 2-for-4, SB, RBI; H Hayes 0-for-3, FC, run; M Schlechte 1-for-3, 2B, run, RBI; Tabbert 2-for-3, 2B, run; Roney 0-for-1, sac, BB; Bean 2-for-2, HBP, SB, run, RBI; Bennett 1-for-3, 2B, RBI; Pfeiffer 1-for-3; Davis 0-for-2; Reynolds 0-for-1. Pitching (W) 7 IP, 1 run, 6 hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks.
C'land stats: Hendry 2-for-4, ROE, run; Maynard 2-for-3, BB, SB; Dunaway 1-for-2, BB; Oakley 0-for-2, sacf, RBI; Bradley 0-for-3, FC; Carr 1-for-3, CS; Sowers 0-for-3; Mitchell 0-for-3; Tolen 0-for-3. Pitching (L) 6 IP, 4 runs, 9 hits, 1 BB, HBP, 2 Ks.