The Pilot Grove and New Franklin softball teams will live for another day after winning in the opening round of the Class 1 District 6 Tournament Wednesday night in Fayette.
As the No. 3 seed in the tournament, the Lady Tigers defeated sixth-seeded Glasgow 16-1 while No. 4 New Franklin upended fifth-seeded Slater 11-9.
The two teams will be back at it again tonight, with New Franklin playing top-seeded Fayette at 5 p.m. and Pilot Grove battling No. 2 Harrisburg at 7.
The winners of tonight’s games will advance to the championship on Friday, Oct. 18 starting at 5 p.m.
Pilot Grove, 8-12 on the season, scored in every inning against Glasgow and led 2-1 after one, 6-1 after two and 10-1 after three. The Lady Tigers also tacked on six in the fourth to win by the run rule.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said the girls did an excellent job in the opening round of districts versus Glasgow. “We managed both sides of the ball to near perfection,” Skaggs said. “There isn’t much time to prepare for the next opponent in our district format but this is when you want to be playing your best. We are confident at this stage in the game and feel ready no matter who we face.”
Abby Schupp picked up the win in the circle for Pilot Grove. In four innings, Schupp gave up just one run on three hits while striking out four batters.
Pilot Grove also finished the game with 13 hits, with Kaitlyn Maggard going 2-for-2 with four RBIs. Natalie Rentel had two singles and three RBIs while Abby Schupp and Grace Peterson each had two singles and one RBI, Marci Lammers two singles, Grace Phillips and Sydney Bell each with one single and one RBI, Danae Lammers one single and Olivia Felten with one RBI.
As for the New Franklin Lady Bulldogs, they actually trailed Slater 2-1 after the first inning before rallying back with three in the second, one again in the third, three in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth for the victory.
New Franklin coach Ross Dowell said Slater has improved 100 percent since the first week the Lady Bulldogs played them. “I was pretty frustrated after the game because Slater made a big push in the top of the seventh,” Dowell said. “I was also very frustrated offensively. We left bases loaded four times and stranded 14 overall. Alexia Sprick pitched to her defense all night and we had minimal errors. Win and move on this time of the year. We will have our hands full with Fayette in the next game.”
Sprick was the winning pitcher in the game for New Franklin, who improved to 9-13. In seven innings, Sprick gave up nine runs on 16 hits and two walks while striking out three.
Isabelle Matney led the hitting attack for New Franklin with three singles. Justice Singleton had a single, double and two RBIs while Abby Maupin added a single, double and one RBI, Kristen Flick one single and three RBIs and Kayce Hundley with one single.