Bottom third of the order comes up big for Pinckneyville in Sectional win over Trico

The Lady Panthers with their Sectional trophy after defeating Trico. (Doug Daniels Photo)

By Doug Daniels

1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com

May 27, 2018

  (Johnston City, Ill.) - The Lady Panthers are one win away from a return trip to the IHSA State Finals in Softball, claiming their second straight Sectional championship on Saturday with an 8-4 victory over Trico.
  The Lady Pioneers got on the board first with a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning by Juhle Prange. It was still 1-0 in the top of the fifth when Pinckneyville's high-powered offense - which to that point had just one hit against Trico's Jade Kranawetter - came to life.
  Leading off the inning, Megan Mayo drilled a homer to left field to tie it, but the damage was far from done. With one out, Lynlee Lindner singled, stole second, and scored on a base hit by Daisy Dudek. Dudek would later score on an error, and Kylee Kling and Emma Banach would tack on RBi hits to help PCHS take charge up 5-1.
  "(Mayo) has come through in such big spots for us this year," said Pinckneyville head coach Alan Engelhardt. "She's not a kid who people come in and say 'don't let Mayo beat you,' but she has beat some people this year. She puts a great swing on it, Lynlee gets the bunt down, then has great base running getting to second on a ball in the dirt, Daisy with a really good at-bat and put one through the hole there. We've won hitting several home runs, but sometimes you have to win with other things."

  Lady Panthers' starter Mariah Clark had retired twelve of thirteen batters following Prange's homer when suddenly Trico fought their way back in the bottom of the sixh. Maysa Titsworth singled to start it, Jaelin King was hit by a pitch, then Danyelle Eilers drove in a pair with her one-out double. Eilers would later score on a fielder's choice by Katie Gale, and the Lady Pioneers had drawn to within a run at 5-4.
  Pinckneyville would respond, though, tacking on three insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a two-out, three-run double by Lauren Jackson, after Mayo was intentionally passed and put on first base. Clark then shut the door in the bottom of the inning, pitching around a two-out single by King by getting her counterpart, Kranawetter, to fly out to end it.
  Clark allowed four earned runs on seven hits and no walks with thirteen strikeouts in the pitching circle. Dudek (1-3, R, RBI, BB), Kling (1-3, RBI, BB), Banach (1-4, RBI), Mayo (1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, BB), Jackson (2-4, 3 RBI, 2B), Lindner (1-4, R), Taylor Witges (1-4) and Josie Gleason (1-3, 2 R, BB) had hits for PCHS.
  "A lot of kids contributing today, which is what you expect from this group," Engelhardt said.
  Pinckneyville will take on Casey-Westfield in Monday's Super-Sectional at Johnston City with first pitch set for approximately 2:00 p.m. The two teams met twice during the regular season with the Casey winning on March 31, 4-3, and the Lady Panthers returning the favor, 4-3, on April 14.

Highlights from the Sectional Final on Saturday. (Doug Daniels Video)

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