After a 14-0 win over the only team to give the Flora Wolfgals a conference loss, they advanced to the regional championship against another Little Illini Conference opponent.
The regional championship game was scheduled to be played on Saturday, but with the threat of bad weather that eventually hit Flora, the game was rescheduled to Thursday afternoon.
Just 10 days prior to the championship game, the Wolfgals defeated the Maroons in Robinson 6-0 behind a solo home runs by Skylar Freeman and Cari Wilson.
It was going to be hard to get a ball over the fence in T-Town on Thursday as a wind coming from right field was holding every fly ball in the air.
The Maroons got a base hit through the infield by Kirbie Mendenhall and into center field. A fielder’s choice hit to Kyrsten Darrough forced Mendenhall out at second. A pop out to Bailey Pearce ended the inning with Malia Gunn left on first.
The Wolfgals were unable to get the bats working in the first innings. Himelick grounded back to Mendenhall in the circle and Skylar Freeman struck out on three pitches. After Sydney Cammon drew a two out walk, Kasey Jennings fell victim to the wind with a pop out to the third baseman for the final out of the inning.
The Maroons went down in order in the top of the second inning with a ground out by Katie Powell to Freeman, a ground out by Maddie Morris to Cammon and a ground out by Allison Sanders to Freeman.
Kelsey Krutsinger struck out for the first out of the bottom of the second. Bailey Pearce picked up the first hit of the game for the Wolfgals with a line drive single to center field. After stealing second, Cari Wilson and Summer Cartright struck out to leave Pearce stranded at second base.
Cammon retired Alisha Clements, Laini Wright and Sullivan in order in the third inning on strike outs.
The Wolfgals didn’t have any success in the bottom of the inning Darrough and Himelick grounded out to Sullivan. Freeman’s fly ball got caught in the wind and caught by Johnson for the third out.
Mendenhall popped out to start the fourth inning. Gunn was hit by a pitch. After stealing second and third, a sacrifice bunt back to Cammon by Johnson allowed Gunn to score and Robinson had a 1-0 lead.
After giving up a run in the top of the inning, Cammon started the bottom by lining a double to center field. Jennings was unable to get her to third as she flied out to left field. Krutsinger, however, scored Cammon by stretching to drive a single to right field and Cammon coming home and tying the game.
Pearce grounded to Sullivan and Krutsinger was forced out at second. Pearce got her second stolen base of the game but a pop out by Wilson to third ended the inning with Pearce left at second but the score tied at 1-1.
Cammon retired the Maroons in order again in the fifth inning. Morris struck out, Sanders lined out to Krutsinger at first and Clements flied out to Cartright in right.
The Wolfgals came up in the fifth inning and put three runs on the board.
The inning started with a pop up to short by Cartright. Darrough followed by reaching on an error on Clements that allowed Darrough to go to second and opened the flood gates for the Wolfgals.
Himelick moved her over to third with a sacrifice back to Mendenhall.Freeman singled to Sullivan and Darrough came home.
Freeman got herself into scoring position by stealing second. Cammon drove home her cousin by ripping a double to left field and Cammon went to third on the throw home.
Jennings singled through the infield and into center field to score Cammon and put the Wolfgals up 4-1.
The Maroons started to work on the Wolfgals’ lead in the top of the sixth inning.
Wright led off by dropping a fly ball in front of McKenzie Hower in left field as she was unable to get in quick enough to catch the ball. Sullivan hit a ground ball that looked like it was going to find a hole but Pearce made a diving stop. She was unable to get the ball out of her glove in time to get the force at second.
With runners at second and third after a sacrifice by Mendenhall, Gunn hit the ball over Himelick's head in center field. The two runners scored and an errant throw by Pearce to third allowed Gunn to score and tie the game at 4-4.
Pearce led off the bottom of the sixth with a base hit to left field. Wilson moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt but pop outs by Cartright and Darrough left the senior on base.
Cammon got the first two outs in the seventh before giving up a walk to Clements. She was able to end the inning by getting Wright to line out to Krutsinger to end the inning.
There’s a sportscaster that tends to say “Ole Abner has done it again” when the team’s lineup sets up for a dramatic win.
The Wolfgals’ lineup had the top of the order in the bottom of the seventh.
Himelick started the inning with a base hit to the second baseman. Freeman bunted and reached on a throwing error that put the winning run at third base.
Cammon walked to load the bases with no out for Jennings.
The Junior took the first pitch she saw and ripped it passed the third baseman and into left field.
Himelick trotted home with the regional championship for the Wolfgals.
The title is the fourth for the Wolfgals under Greg Schafer and the first time they have won consecutive regionals since they won four straight 2003-2006. The sectional will be on their home field starting this afternoon.Flora Sectional (map)
Brax Chaney Field, Flora
Tue., May 23
Game 1 at 4:30 pm: Macon (Meridian) vs. Flora
Game 2 at 6:30 pm: Casey-Westfield vs. Breese (Mater Dei)
Sat., May 27
Game 3 at 11:00 am: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2