One big inning put Boone’s softball team one win away from the State Tournament.
The Toreadors erupted for 11 runs in the fourth inning Saturday, turning a tense Class 4-A Regional semifinal against Harlan into a 12-0 mercy-rule rout.
Most of the scoring came when coach Erica White’s squad put the ball in play and raced around the bases.
“I think it’s just being aggressive on the base paths,” White said after Boone improved its record to 17-11. “They know that we’re always trying to push as many bases as we can.
“And when we see that opening, they’ve got to get going.”
Harlan pitcher Morgan Schaben held the Toreadors to a single run through three innings, before things began to unravel.
Victoria Lewis led off with a walk. Kennedy Lewis followed with a run-scoring double. Alex McDonough singled to right.
“We were really getting what Schaben was starting to throw,” White explained, “and we were starting to find our zone.”
Schben didn’t get a lot of help from her defense.
Ashley Behrendt laid down a squeeze bunt, which led to a throwing error. There were Boone drives to the outfield that should have been caught, and a passed ball by the Harlan catcher.
The Toreadors took advantage of every opportunity.
“We really just started executing and scoring runs,” White said.
Ellen Castle and Emily Ades each went 2-for-4 in the game. Ades, Victoria Lewis and Kennedy Lewis all doubled.
It was Ades who doubled to right center in the first inning, scoring Castle and giving Boone an early lead.
Emma Dighton dominated from the pitching circle, allowing two hits and no walks through four innings, while striking out three.
“Those two have come up big for us,” White said of Ades and Dighton. “They’ve played a lot of softball.”
Boone finished with a total of nine hits and four walks.
“We’ve been talking about being happy for someone else who gets the big play or big strikeout on the mound,” White said. “That’s really starting to sink in with them.”
The Toreadors advanced to meet Carlisle (34-3) in Tuesday’s Regional final. Harlan closed its season at 28-8.
“I think it means a lot to me personally, coming in and this being my first year,” White said. “These girls want it and they’re hungry for it.
“They know that they’re good and they know they can make anything happen. It’s just a matter of helping them build that confidence.”