LEO-CEDARVILLE – Just because the lead was gone, any chance of winning was not as Woodlan scored a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat Concordia 4-3 in the first game of the Leo Class 3A Softball Sectional on Monday.
The Class 3A No. 4 Warriors squandered a three-run lead to the No. 14 Cadets in the top of the sixth but were able to regroup quickly.
They do have confidence that they are in every game, and they have a way (to win), Woodlan coach Barry Ehle said of his team. We have not had to pull one out like this, this year. It has happened somewhere earlier in the game, not when it is do-or-die.
Woodlan will play Garrett, an 8-6 winner over Angola in the sectional semifinals at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The second semifinal game will pit No. 3 Bishop Dwenger against No. 15 Leo. The championship is set for 5 p.m. Thursday.
The Warriors (19-1) had a 3-0 lead disappear when the Cadets (19-10) scored three runs in the top of the sixth.
You have to always play well in the tournament, and it doesnt matter who you are playing, said Ehle, whose team didnt play the Cadets this year as scheduled because of the weather. Last year the No. 1 team in 3A got beat right away, in the first game. We knew they were a quality team, not that we doubted it at all.
After hitting a double, senior Logan Smead scored the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth on a throwing error.
It is just that thing where you have to do it, said Smead, who was 2 for 3. You have to get a run to win the game.
Smead hit a key single in the Warriors three-run third to make 3-0. Two runs scored on Smeads hit after a fielding error.
I did it for my team, Smead said. I have been in a slump for a while, and I am glad I did it this game.
In the seventh, Concordia got runners on second and third but Woodlan pitcher Hannah Robbins struck out Taylor Sparks to end the game. Robbins had 11 strikeouts.
We knew we would have to play almost perfect to beat Woodlan, Concordia coach Jerry Schillinger said. I thought we might get down, but we werent and we battled back.
We knew to win this game we were going to need 4-5 runs, so we just tried to brush those off. We came back right away and got three on the board.
But Woodlan is tough, and Hannah buckled down there in that last inning. We had Taylor (Sparks) up there at the end, a .500 hitter for the season and a first-team all-conference kid. Thats who we wanted up there but it was good hitting vs. good pitching.
It wasnt a pretty game as six of the games seven runs were unearned.
The physical errors will happen and trying to cut down the mental errors is a tough thing, Ehle said.
It is a test every time you go out there now, and it is pass/fail in a season of final exams.