Town Crier Sports Staff
Katie Donner drilled a clutch two-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the score and Brooke Hill scampered home with the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth to lift Manila to a thrilling 7-6 victory over Corning in the semi-finals of the Class 3A Region 3 Softball Tournament Monday night at Harrison.
The Lady Lions went into the sixth inning trailing 6-5, but got a lead-off double from Leigha Woody. Two outs later, Donner came through with the game tying hit to send the game into extra innings.
Manila put its first two hitters on base to start the eighth inning, before Colleen Kemp's fielders choice grounder advanced both runners into scoring position. Hill, who started the inning with a walk, scored on a wild pitch by losing pitcher Felicia Woodard, putting Manila into the championship game against Salem.
Corning scored three runs in the first and one in the third to grab a 4-0 lead. The Lady Lions rallied with a run of their own in the bottom of the third and took the lead, scoring four runs in the fourth, to go ahead 5-4. Corning came right back with a two-run fifth to take a 6-5 lead before Manila rallied in the sixth to tie the game.
Kimberly Wise went the full eight innings to pick up the win, scattering 12 hits. The freshman righthander struck out three and walked one while surrendering four earned runs.
Woody went 2-3, stole two bases and scored a pair of runs while Wise and Hill both went 2-4. Wise finished with three stolen bases while Hill scored a pair of runs. Kemp added a pair of RBIs along with her single while scoring a run. Donner finished with a single, an RBI and a run scored while Jonna Dodd also had a base hit. Katie Veach provided one RBI and Heather Dozhier scored a run to round out the Lady Lion attack.
In the championship game, Salem scored early and often en route to a 17-1 victory to claim the regional title.
Winning pitcher Leslie Taylor went five innings, allowing just one run while striking out six and walking just two. Taylor gave up just four hits.
Kimberly Wise, now 23-7 on the year, suffered the loss. Wise went five innings, striking out four while walking just three.
Salem scored two runs in the first inning, three in both the second and third innings, and put the game away with a six run fourth inning.
Jonna Dodd paced Manila at the plate, going 2-2, while Wise and Katie Veach both had singles. Kristen Painter scored Manila's lone run.
"We really battled hard in the semi-final game," said Manila Coach Toby Doke. "It was a nip and tuck, back and forth game that took a lot out of the team. In the championship game, we faced as good a pitcher as we have seen all season. I don't think we'll see a better one in the state tournament. I am really proud of the girls. Finishing as runner-up gives us a good seed entering the state tournament, which should offer us a chance to make some noise. We will go and see what happens."