Mendota 2A softball regional: Hall 4, Putnam County 3
SPRING VALLEY — The roller coaster season of the Hall softball team was given yet another turn to make as the Lady Devils defeated the Putnam County Lady Panthers in dramatic comeback fashion 4-3 to begin 2A regional play at home Monday night.
Sara Perkins’ two-run double to just barely inside the center field fence sent pinch runner Josie Barroso and Gabby Englehaupt across home plate and gave Hall (10-19) the lead for good, sending them into Tuesday’s regional semifinals against favorite Orion.
“I felt a little pressure up there because we were down,” Perkins said. “I just told myself to relax up there, put myself in a state of mind where I can focus on the ball more, because I knew I could put the ball in play.”
“Sara really stepped up and had a couple of huge at-bats, a triple and a double. When we needed ’em, we had ’em,” Hall coach Brian Holman said.
After three scoreless innings, it was Hall gaining the early advantage in the fourth when a successful bunt by Zoe Morris (2-4, 1 RBI), aided by a dropped ball at first base, would send Hanah Hart home to give the Lady Devils a 1-0 lead.
“It was pretty obvious early we weren’t going to get on the pitching, for whatever reason,” Holman said. “We had to do some bunting and move things around to do what we had to do.”
PC wasted little time in responding, with Grace Ebel sending Morgan Hundley and Savannah Tucker home on a double, then herself scoring thanks to an RBI single by Megan Wiesbrock to put the Lady Panthers up 3-1.
Holman turned to the bunt again to stir up his offense, and it proved productive when Hannah Parente (2-4, 1 RBI) scored Perkins in the bottom of the fourth inning to narrow the gap to 3-2.
“Yeah, we work on that,” Holman said. “We missed a few spots even, too, but if Morgan’s (Filippini) gonna keep us in a game like that, we’ve got to put some runs up on the board for her.”
And Perkins (2-4, 2 RBI) gave her all the extra runs she needed with her go-ahead double.
Two pop flies and strikeout in the top of the seventh took PC out of the game and secured the win for the Lady Devils.
Hall winning pitcher Morgan Filippini worked a complete game, striking out three while allowing only one walk.
“She was really good tonight, moving the ball around,” Holman said. “Hopefully she’ll have tomorrow (Tuesday) what she had tonight. If she does, it gives us a chance to win.”
The Lady Panthers finish their season at 9-12 under first-year coach Angie Heiser, a former PC player herself.
“I asked them to do two things for me before this game,” Heiser said. “Give me energy the whole time, give me effort on every single pitch, and they did that for me.
“It was great. We held the lead for a little bit, but we just didn’t have enough for us to get the job done today. But, I’m proud of my kids.”