Beloit's rally knocks Craig from tournament
JANESVILLE--A timely two-out rally by the Beloit Memorial softball team ended Janesville Craig’s season Wednesday.
The Purple Knights strung together three consecutive doubles in the top of the sixth inning to take their first lead of the game.
They made it hold up, despite a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, and beat the Cougars 3-2 in a WIAA regional semifinal game at the Janesville Youth Sports Complex. Craig finished the season with a 12-11 record, while Beloit moves on to face top-seeded Westosha Central in a regional final today.
“I think that’s the story of the game, (their rally) in the sixth inning,” Craig coach Dan Bayreuther said. “We get the first two out, and then it’s three well-hit doubles in a row. I tip my hat to them.”
Beloit starter Courtney Schindler and Craig starter Jenna Brandt cruised along through the first five innings. Neither was overpowering, but they were effective and allowed just one run apiece.
Craig got on the board in the fourth on Taylor Woodman’s RBI double. Beloit answered with an unearned run in the top of the fifth.
With the game still tied in the sixth, Brandt got a groundout and a flyout to start the inning before Beloit’s bats came alive.
Schindler helped her own cause by opening the rally with a double to left field, and first baseman Taylor Mathews followed with one of her own to the center-field fence. Maria Sanchez, who went 3-for-3 on the day, capped it off with a double down the left-field line to make it 3-1.
“(Schindler) hit her double, and then I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go out there and hit it,’” said Mathews, Beloit’s lone senior on the roster. “Then Maria hit me in, and that was the rally we needed.
“It’s heartwarming (to move on). We came out here with a good mindset, and it means a lot.”
The Cougars got out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning and then started one of their own in the bottom half.
Al Hughes drew a one-out walk and scored on senior Kayley Hackett’s fielder’s choice. Hackett was called out on a close play at first base. But Craig’s rally ended on a flyout to right field.
“Every single one of (our players) has improved from the beginning of the year,” Bayreuther said of his roster that included just four seniors. “As coaches, that’s all we ask for. There were some games that we might have struggled a little bit, but overall there was a lot of improvement.”
• Muskego 25, Parker 0--The season came to an end Wednesday for Janesville Parker’s softball team.
Hailey Blount threw a no-hitter to lead Muskego to a win over Parker in a WIAA Division 1 regional opener.
Muskego pounded out 20 hits and scored 12 runs in the first inning to take control.
Parker, which finished 0-21, had six errors.