Shelbyville softball (11-14) the #6 sub-sectional seed faced Tuscola (29-5) the #1 seed, who had beaten them twice before, in the Teutopolis 2A Reginal semifinal. The pitching duel went into the 8th innings and the Rams end game upset Tuscola, 3-2.
Tuscola ran rough shod through the season, except against Shelbyville. For some reason the game was always low-scoring and Tuscola eked out wins, 2-1, and 3-0. This was the third time they had played and, in the sports world, the third game can be a trap game for the team that won the first two. Voila! The trap sprung.
It was another nip 'n tuck affair and Tuscola's inability to blow out the Rams cost them. Ram ace Jocelyn Lewis went all 8 innings, allowing 2 runs on just 5 hits with only one walk and 9 Ks. The Ram fielders did their job. They made 15 put outs with just one error, huge.
Kaitlyn Reisteck also pitched well, going 8 innings, allowing 3 runs on six hits with a walk and 10 Ks. But that extra hit cost her. The Warrior defenders also made 23 put outs, but booted the ball twice. That extra error cost them.
Tuscola was almost untouchable this year. They won their first 14 games, then got beat by Meridian, 7-4. They won the next 12 games and got beat again by Meridian, 2-1.
Meridian is a 1A sub-sectional, #2 seed, behind Windsor/Stew-Stras, and is hosting a sectional. Meridian (26-4) was the only team to beat them this year, until Tuesday, when the Shelbyville fired a shot heard around Central Illinois.
That shot wasn't just the go-ahead RBI by freshman Alexis Rohdemann and speed demon Allison Schuricht racing home in the top of the 8th.
The final shot was Ram catcher Kaytlin Tucker gunning down Kendyl Ring trying to steal 3rd and 3rd baseman Jaylin McCabe making the tag for the end game. It was like Ironman snapping his fingers and altering reality. Game over.
Schuricht singled in the 1st, but after stealing 2nd was stranded. Lewis KO'd 2 of 3 batters in the Warrior 1st. Rohdemann reached on an error in the Ra 2nd, but was also left on. Reifsteck KO'd 2.
Tuscola got the go-ahead run in the 2nd on a 1-out hit by Reisteck and a 2-out hit by Claire Ring, 1-0. Shelby went in order in the 3rd and Tuscola added a run. Natalie Bates reached on a 1-out error and got all the way to 3rd. She scored on a ground out, 2-0.
Shelby knotted the game in the top of the 4th. McCabe led off with a single. Lewis reached on an error. Wit two outs and runners at 1st and 2nd, Reed walked to load the bases.
Natalie Frederick, batting 8th, came to the plate hitting .153 with just 9 hits in 24 games. She had her biggest hit of the season. She singled to right field and drove in the tying runs, 2-2.
The next four innings were quick and unsatisfying, offensively, but very satisfying, defensively, on both sides. Lewis gave up two hits, a single and a double in different innings. Reisteck gave up one hit.
In the 8th, Schuricht led off with another bunt single. She advance to 2nd on a ground out by McCabe. A pop out to short was the 2nd out. Schuricht raced to 3rd on a passed ball. With the go-ahead run on 3rd, Rohdemann singled to left and Schuricht was home free, 3-2.
Tuscola got a lead-off single from Kendyl Ring in the bottom of the 8th, putting the the winning run at the plate. But Bates popped out to 2nd baseman Ali McCarter on a tough play in foul territory. Ring tagged and went to 2nd. Lewis then rang up Musgraves for the 2nd out.
For some reason, with Ring in scoring position with two outs, Tuscola had her steal 3rd. But, Tucker popped up and made the throw to 3rd and nailed her, ending Tuscola's magical season.
Shelbyville (#6 seed) will play the winner of #4 Teutopolis and #5 Sullivan in the regional final on Friday at 4:30 p.m. Shelby beat Teutopolis in Shelbyville, 3-0, 2 weeks ago. Shelby was rained out against Pana this year.
Teutopolis 2A Regional
Shelbyville 3, Tuscola 2 - 8 innings
Shelby 000 200 01--3-6-1
T'cola 011 000 00--2-5-2
Ram stats: McCarter 0-for-4; Schuricht 2-for-4, run; McCabe 1-for-3, SAC, run; Lewis 0-for-4, roe, run; Rohdemann 1-for-4, ROE, RBI; Tucker 0-for-4; Reed 0-for-2, BB; Frederick 2-for-3, 2 RBIs; Boehm 0-for-2 (Bradbury 0-for-1). Lewis (W) 8 IP, 2 runs, 5 hits, 1 BB, 9 Ks
Tcola stats: Bates 0-for-4, ROE, run; Musgrave 0-for-4, RBI; Watson 0-for-3; Martin 0-for-3 Reisteck 1-for-2; Smith 0-for-3; C Ring 2-for-3, 2B, RBI; Morgan 0-for-1 (Pierce 0-for-2); K Ring 2-for-3, SB, CS (James CS run). Pitching (L) Reisteck 8 IP, 3 runs, 6 hits, BB, 10 Ks.