COBB — One big inning and the sizzling hot bat of senior Lachen Esters meant the end of Iowa–Grant’s season.
Visiting Boscobel scored seven runs in the top of the fifth inning and held on for a 10–6 victory in last Tuesday’s WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal at Cobb.
Esters went 4-for-5 with two triples, four RBIs and a run scored for the winners and was a general pain in the Panthers’ sides all afternoon.
The win earned the Bulldogs a berth in Thursday’s regional final against Mineral Point and avenged a pair of narrow regular season losses to the Panthers on May 6. (Mineral Point won the regional final 3–2).
I–G (14–5) won the opener of that SWAL doubleheader three weeks ago 4–2 in 11 innings, then won the nightcap 8–7 on Brea Stanton’s game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Last Tuesday Stanton and her Panthers teammates appeared on their way to another win over the Bulldogs and a rematch with the SWAL champion Pointers.
I–G scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 5–2 lead, but Boscobel scored seven runs in the top of the fifth and the stunned Panthers couldn’t recover.
Sophomore Kylie Moneypenny’s RBI single in the bottom of the first inning made it 1–0.
After Boscobel tied the game with a run in the top of the third, I–G regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning on Stanton’s two-out RBI single that scored Brittanie Lawinger.
The Bulldogs pulled within a run in the fourth when Esters tripled and later scored on Brea Glassbrenner’s RBI ground out.
In the bottom of the fourth Jackie Olson scored when the Bulldogs dropped a third strike and were forced to complete the put out of Lawinger at first base.
Later in the inning junior Kaci Myers ripped an RBI single to score Lara Daentl. Myers came around to score on Rheann Engelke’s RBI double.
The Boscobel flood gates opened. The Bulldogs pounded out six hits, drew a walk and scored seven runs in the fifth to take a 9–5 lead.
After Bailey Smith’s RBI single, Loomis tied the game at 5–5 with a two-run single.
Brandii Cabrera added a two-run double later in the inning for a 7–5 lead, and Esters two-run triple one batter later completed the rally. Esters added an RBI single in the seventh.
“We are two pretty evenly matched teams,” said I–G head coach Deanna Fulton. “They played very strong defense and made three diving catches. They made defensive plays when they needed to. We put pressure on them early, but couldn’t get that key hit to have a big inning. And of course they had a big fifth inning.
Myers finished Tuesday’s game a perfect 3-for-3. Stanton went 3-for-4 and Daentl added two hits in three at-bats.
Stanton (14–5) suffered the loss after allowing 10 runs on 14 hits in seven innings. She struck out five and walked one.
The Panthers finished the season 14–5 overall after a 10–3, second-place finish in the SWAL.
“We had a great season,” added Fulton. “We hit the ball consistently and our pitching was strong all year. We struggled at times defensively, but overall it was a good year.
“In my opinion we came up one game short of where I thought we could have been. We also won five games by one run or in extra innings, so it was nice to come out on top of those close games this year.”
WIAA Division 3 Regional Semifinal
Boscobel 10, Iowa–Grant 6
(from Tuesday, May 21 @ Cobb)
Boscobel 001 170 1 — 10 14 2
Iowa-Grant 101 301 0 — 6 13 2
Leading hitters — B: Esters 4x5, Glassbrenner 2x4, King 2x4, Loomis 2x4; IG: Kaci Myers 3x3, Brea Stanton 3x4, Lara Daentl 2x3. 2B — IG: Rheann Engelke, Taylor Jackson. 3B — B: Esters. W — Johnson (4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 SO, 0 BB). L — Brea Stanton (14–5, 7 IP, 14 H, 10 ER, 5 SO, 1 BB).