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Softball: Perryville falls in extras at 1A state semifinals

Softball: Perryville falls in extras at 1A state semifinals
Perryville's Bethany Rinehart sadly walks back to the dug out while the Mountain Ridge celebrates after Tuesday's state semi final game at Bachman Park in Glen Burnie. (PHOTO BY MATT BUTTON | RECORD STAFF)

Perryville's bid for a second state title game appearance in the last three years ended at Glen Burnie's Bachman Park Tuesday afternoon as the Panthers lost, 1-0, on the last play of the game in extra innings to the Mountain Ridge Miners in the Class 1A state semifinals.

With the two teams still in a scoreless tie after seven innings, the game moved to softball's International Tiebreaker, where the last batter of the previous inning is put on second base at the start of each extra inning. Perryville, beginning the top of the eighth with Ali Jones at second, couldn't score as the Panthers went down in order on a ground out and two strikeouts.

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The undefeated Miners came up in the bottom half of the eighth with their runner at second, and promptly moved her to third with a bunt single. The Mountain Ridge leadoff hitter then stole second, which put runners at second and third with no outs. Rather than walk the bases loaded so they could get set up a possible force out at the plate, the Panthers decided to rely on pitcher Lindsey Poore, who had allowed just one hit in the previous seven innings, and the defense behind her, to get out of the jam. The Miners' second hitter of the inning waved at one of Poore's offerings and hit a soft infield dribbler that allowed the runner at third to sprint home ahead of the throw for the game's only run.

"It was a close game," Perryville head coach Rusty Moore said. "The international tiebreak rule is what killed us."

Poore was nearly untouchable for the game's first seven innings, holding the Miners to one first-inning single. After Mountain Ridge got someone to second in its first at-bat via a stolen base, Poore didn't allow a runner past first until the tiebreaker rule put the winning run at second in the eight. Poore ended the complete-game effort with three strikeouts and having allowed just three hits.

Poore nearly scored the Panthers' first run in the fifth, after making it to second base with two outs. Perryville's Marissa Phillips came up and slapped a single to right field, sending the Perryville hurler scrambling for home, but Poore was cut down at the plate by a strong throw from the Miner's right fielder.

Phillips' fifth-inning single was one of four hits for the Panthers, who were hitless in the first four innings. Molly Staley, Brette Knell and Ali Jones also had singles for Perryville.

Tuesday's game marked the fifth time Perryville advanced to the state semifinals, with the Panthers (13-8) previously winning regional titles in 2010, 2005, 2004 and 1999. The Panthers made it to their lone state championship game in 2010, where they were knocked off by Allegany, 8-2.

Panthers top Warriors in regional final

In last Friday's all-UCBAC 1A North regional championship game, the Panthers stamped their ticket to the state semifinals with a 9-2 victory over visiting fourth seed Havre de Grace.

Panther hurler Kaitlyn Willis held a no-hitter for 6-2/3 innings before allowing Havre de Grace's lone hit of the afternoon, a triple to left. Over seven innings of work Willis struck out 13 hitters and retired the first 15 Warrior hitters she faced, taking a perfect game into the sixth.

Brette Knell had two singles and one RBI in the victory, while teammate Brooke Wills had a triple and one RBI. Lindsey Poore smacked a one-RBI base hit for the Panthers.

Warriors top Western Tech

The Havre de Grace Warriors won their Class 1A regional semifinal game last Thursday, dispatching visiting eighth seed Western Tech, 8-2.

With the win, the fourth-seeded Warriors moved on to last Friday's regional title game against cross-river rival, the second-seeded Perryville Panthers.

In the regional semifinal game, the Warriors scored three times in the first, added one in the third, scored twice in the fourth and closed their scoring with a pair of runs in the sixth. Western Tech scored once in the sixth and once in the seventh.

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Leading the Warriors' lineup was Taylor Smith, who was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, a double and two runs scored. Emily Lewis was 3-for-4 with one run and two RBIs in the victory, while Kaitlyn Husfelt went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one walk. Rebecca Ashman and Riley Arnold each scored a pair of runs for the Warriors, while Dana Teufer was 1-for-2 with one RBI. Hailey Bethke was 1-for-4 with one RBI and Hayley Kitts was 1-for-1 with one run scored.

Arnold started for the Warriors and tossed five innings, striking out four, walking one and holding the opposition to a pair of hits along the way. Kitts threw two innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out two.

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