A freak play ended Burlington High School's softball season Saturday night at Eldridge as third-ranked North Scott edged the Grayhounds, 4-3, in the Class 4A, Region 6 semifinals.
The score was tied in the bottom of the seventh and North Scott's Taylor Robertson was standing on third base. Paige Westlin was to lay down a suicide squeeze bunt, but missed the ball. Robertson got caught halfway between third and home. The throw went to Burlington's Alivia Fawcett at third and Robertson took off for home. Fawcett threw to the plate.
"We thought (Robertson) was out, but they called her safe" with the winning run, BHS coach Larry Heath said.
Burlington sophomore Makenzie Blythe hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to tie the score at 3-3.
"Sometimes a homer like that can take the momentum away and it really tested our character," North Scott coach Holly Hoelting told the Quad-City Times. "But the team stuck together and and got it done. We came out and did what we needed to do."
Blythe finished the game 2-for-3 and Bryanna Mehaffy went 2-for-4 for the Grayhounds. Adessa Brandenburg (13-7) was the losing pitcher.
"One of the key things, we had runners in scoring position in four innings," Heath said. "In the fourth, we were in scoring position and then lined out for a double play. We had that happen four times. We had our opportunities. They did a tremendous job. We had a very, very good game defensively, especially Bryanna Mehaffy."
The Grayhounds committed no errors and scored their three runs on eight hits. North Scott had seven hits and an error. Ashlyn Shannon (10-6) was the winning pitcher. Sam Lee homered to give the Lancers an early 2-0 lead.
"We knew Burlington was capable and that we had to be ready to go," Lee told the Times. "I saw a good pitch and I was able to put a good swing on it. It was big for us to get an early lead and put some pressure on them right away."
Burlington ended its season at 22-17.
North Scott (25-14) hosts Fairfield (22-18) in the regional championship game Tuesday. Fairfield advanced with a 12-4 win over Mount Pleasant.
IOWA MENNONITE SCHOOL 8, NEW LONDON 3: Darius Whaley, Shae Summerfield and Carter Allen each had a pair of hits, but the Tigers fell ina Class 1A district quarterfinal game at Kalona.
Summerfield and Allen each had an RBI for the Tigers, while Ryan Richey and Kooper Schulte also had hits.
Seth Bailey took the loss, with relief help from Whaley.
IMS scored three runs in the first inning and five more in the second. New London scored two in the top of the first and once in the third.
The Tigers left nine runners on base
"Things change for us there in the second inning. We got ahead in the count on their number nine hitter and ended up walking him.Then they end up scoring all them runs. That has been our M. O. all year.Every game it seems we have an inning where we struggle a little bit.We seem to have trouble in that ending making the plays that we need to," New London head coach Brad Helmerson said. "After that I thought we competed real well. The problem is we left too many on base. You were not going to get a win against a better team when you do that. A couple times we got the bases-loaded with nobody out and didn’t score."
FORT MADISON 3, PELLA 1: Brandon Reichelt and eighth-grader Kane Williams had two hits each, all of Fort Madison's offense, and they were enough to end the regular season with a win at Pella.
Reichelt had two doubles and the Bloodhounds' lone RBI. Dayne Cordray picked up the win, giving up one earned run on eight hits and a walk in seven innings. He struck out four.
Fort Madison (16-14) plays at Fairfield Friday in the Class 3A, District 10 tournament.