LANCASTER – After making a valiant 8-7 comeback against visiting Prairie du Chien in last Tuesday’s Division 3 regional quarterfinal, the Flying Arrow varsity softball team had its season come to an end the following Wednesday night with a 4-3 loss to host Arcadia.
Lancaster’s tournament action began last Tuesday night against visiting Prairie du Chien (2-19), whom the Flying Arrows had beaten two times during the regular season, 12-1 and 3-1.
Last Tuesday night’s contest was a different story though, as the old adage, ‘It’s hard to beat a team three times’ certainly had some truth to it.
It was Prairie jumping out to a 5-0 lead with two runs in the second inning and three in the third, until Lancaster scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth off RBI singles from Lindsey Wolf, Morelia Galvan and Katie Martin.
In the bottom of the sixth, Lancaster knotted the score at 5-5 with a two-run double by Hannah Riley, which scored sisters, Brooklyn and Eden Connelly.
With neither team able to break the tie in the seventh, the game needed an extra inning to decide a winner.
Prairie du Chien led off the extra inning by scoring two runs off four hits.
Lancaster then took their turn in the eighth inning, where Sydney Taylor reached base on a one-out bunt single, and was followed by Eden Connelly, who singled to put runners on first and second.
Brooklyn Connelly followed her older sister with a single to score Taylor and put runners at second and third base with Lancaster trailing 7-6 and one out.
In the midst of a short rain delay, Hannah Riley then followed with a ground ball hit to the Blackhawk’s shortstop, who threw to first base for the second out.
Eden Connelly was able to score the tying run on the throw to first, but Brooklyn had thoughts of winning the game.
As Brooklyn rounded third and took off for home, the throw from first to home was low and in the dirt, getting by the Prairie du Chien catcher and allowing Connelly to slide safely into home plate for the win.
The Connelly sisters combined for seven of their team’s 15 hits, Brooklyn going 4-for-5 with three runs scored, and Eden finishing 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored.
Hannah Riley, Morelia Galvan and Sydney Taylor each had two hits in the win, Riley also having three RBIs.
In the pitching circle, Riley gave up seven runs, two earned, off 11 hits in eight innings of work. She also struck out seven batters and walked one.
With last Tuesday night’s victory, the Flying Arrows moved on to the regional semifinals, where they were handed a 4-3 season-ending loss from host Arcadia.
It was Lancaster getting on the scoreboard first when Brooklyn Connelly smacked a solo home run to give the Arrows an early 1-0 lead.
Arcadia answered in the bottom half of the third with two runs off two hits and one Lancaster error, but the Arrows tied it back up in the top of the fifth when Riley crossed home plate on an Arcadia error.
The score remained tied at 2-2 until the top of the seventh inning when Brooklyn Connelly scored her second run of the game on a sacrifice fly ball hit by Morelia Gavan. The Arrows left two runners on base at the end of the inning, but held a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Arcadia scored two runs, one on a sacrifice fly ball, and the other on an RBI single, to slip past the Arrows in their final at bat.
Of Lancaster’s 10 hits, Riley had three, while Brooklyn Connelly, Katie Martin and Erin Walker each had two.
In the pitching circle, Riley allowed four earned runs off seven hits, while striking out seen batters and walking one.
Under first-year head coach Katie Landon, Lancaster concluded the season with an overall record of 9-13, and finished 5-5 in Southwest Wisconsin Conference action.
“I was very proud of the girls for their effort this season,” said coach Landon. “I thought we drastically improved throughout the year and have a lot of potential for next year.”
Landon loses just two seniors in Eden Connelly and Jessica Miles, and will return a wealth of experience next season.
“The seniors showed great leadership and were great players, and we will miss them both on and off the field. I wish them the best of luck with future endeavors,” concluded Landon.
Lancaster 8, Prairie du Chien 7
(D3 regional quarterfinal from Tuesday, May 23)
PDC 023 000 02 - 7 11 3
Lancaster 000 032 03 - 8 15 3
Leading hitters - PdC: Wikan 2x4, Kennedy 3x4, Fisher 2x4; L: Brooklyn Connelly 4x5, Eden Connelly 3x5, Hannah Riley 2x4, Morelia Galvan 2x4, Sydney Taylor 2x3. 2B - Kozelka (PdC), Riley (L), Galvan (L). W - Hannah Riley (8IN,10H,2ER,7K,1BB). L - Wikan (8IN,15H,7ER,2K,3BB).
Arcadia 4, Lancaster 3
(D3 regional semifinal from Wednesday, May 24)
Lancaster 001 010 1 - 3 10 2
Arcadia 002 000 2 - 4 7 2
Leading hitters - L: Brooklyn Connelly 2x4, Hannah Riley 3x4, Katie Martin 2x4, Erin Walker 2x3; A: A. Suchla 2x4, H. Suchla 2x3. 2B - Riley (L), A. Suchla (A). HR - Brooklyn Connelly (L), H. Suchla (A). W - Bjorge (7IN,10H,2ER,9K,2BB). L - Hannah Riley (6.1IN,7H,4ER,7K,1BB).