Central A&M softball (18-6) finished their season in the Okaw Valley 1A Regional Championship on Friday. They played sometime-2A Meridian (27-4) and made it as close as possible, losing by just one run in extra-innings, 3-2.

The game went into the 8th inning tied 2-2. A&M suffered their 13th strikeout at the hands of Peyton Latham.  The next batter grounded out to 1st and the third batter popped out to 2nd.

Meridian came to the plate. Tempe Helton threw out the first batter, 2nd to 1st. Then Stockton singled and went to 2nd on a passed ball. Hackert singled to put runners at the corners. A bunt was played by 3rd baseman Julia Braundmeier to 1st for the 2nd out. Sudden death stayed at 3rd. Latham then singled to center and drove in the run for the walk-off regional win, 3-2.  

Meridian got on the board in the bottom of the 1st. A 1-out error and a single set the stage. A follow-up single by Damery made it 1-0. 

AM hit 3 consecutive singles in the 2nd but failed to score. Rylee Dixon singled with one out. Dixon was called out on appeal. Helton singled and Reeanna Guy singled with two outs. Latham threw a K to get out of the inning.

Allie Dunn rang up all 3 Hawks in the 2nd. She came through at the plate, too, in the 3rd. After two Latham strikeouts, Dunn hit a 2-1 pitch for a tying home run, 1-1.

Meridian came back in the 3rd. Enlow walked. A sac bunt moved the runner and a pop out made it 2-dead. Damery doubled and reclaimed the 2-1 lead. A&M had two singled in the 4th from Dixon and Helton, but an infield fly slowed the roll. A K and a ground out killed the rally.

Meridian got two on in the 4th, but Dunn had a K and a pop out and a ground kept it a 1-run game. 

In the 5th, Dunn singled with one out. With two outs, Channing Reed doubled. Dunn scored from 1st on a outfield error, tying the game, 2-2. The Hawks had a 2-out single in the 5th, but was stymied.

Latham struck out the side again in the A&M 6th. A&M turned a double play to hold on to the tie in the 6th. After a lead-off walk, A sac bunt moved the runner on 1st to 3rd with one out. 

Third baseman Braundmeier played a bunt for an out and threw to the left fielder, Denton, coming in to cover 3rd. She threw to the catcher, Reed, at home for the tag out. 

The A&M Raiders, the #3 sub-sectional seed, played Meridian (27-4) for the 3rd time this season. The sub-sectional #2 seed won the regional championship game ending A&M's 9-game win streak. Two of A&M's 5 losses this year were to Meridian, 8-2, and, 6-4. Now it is 3-of- their 6 losses.

Both teams went in order in the 7th to set up the home stretch.

Five Raiders hit safely and three had multiple hits. Helton hit 2-for-3. Dixon hit 2-for-4. Dunn hit 2-for-4 with a home run, 2 runs, and driving in a run. A&M out-hit Meridian 8 to 7 and had more earned runs.

Dunn threw 7.6 innings, allowing one earned run on 7 hits, with 9 Ks and 4 walks. Latham went 8 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 8 hits with 1 walk and 13 Ks. Both pitchers threw half or less than half first-pitch strikes. Latham had a 65.9% strikes and Dunn threw 59.4% strikes.

Meridian played Sub-sectional #1 seed Casey on Tuesday in the sectional semifinal. The game was suspended at the start of the 5th with Casey up, 1-0. The game will resume on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Friday

Meridian 3, Central A&M 2

C A&M  001 010 00--2-8-2

M'dian  101 000 01--3-7-1

CAM stats: Mc Denton 0-for-4; Dunn 2-for-4, HR, 2 runs, RBI; Mi Denton 0-for-3, BB, SB; Reed 2-for-4, 2B; Helton 2-for-3; Guy 1-for-3; Schinzler 0-for-3; Braundmeier 0-for-2 (Malone 0-for-1); Webb . Pitching (L) Dunn 7.6 IP, 3 runs, 7 hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks.

Mdian stats: Enlow 0-for-3, BB, run; Coffman 0-for-3, ROE, sac, run; Bowman 1-for-4; Damery 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Stockton 2-for-3, BB, run; Hackert 1-for-4; Jones 0-for-1, BB (Hendricks 0-for-1, BB, SB); Latham 1-for-2, ROE, 2 sacs, RBI; Wise 0-for-3. Pitching (W) 8 IP, 2 runs, 8 hits, BB, 13 Ks.

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