Tuscola’s softball team shook off some nerves in the regional semifinals getting past Clinton 4-0 and then hit their stride in a 5-0 over a very good Maroa team in the championship game advancing to the IHSA Sectional. The ladies in black and gold leaned on the right arm of senior pitcher Kaitlyn Reifsteck on the bump and solid defense behind her.
The EIU commit struck out 28 in the two game stint scattering seven hits and two walks out of over 14 innings of action with her battery mate Marissa Russo. She struck out eight of the first nine to step to the plate and then utilized big plays by third baseman Jessie Martin, left fielder Isabelle Wilcox, the middle infield Taylor Musgrave and Ella Boyer in the title tilt versus the Lady Trojans of Maroa.
Boyer doubled with one gone in the bottom of the first, moved to third on a single by Musgrave and scored on an illegal pitch. Musgrave took second on fielder’s difference, moved on the illegal pitch and scored when Reifsteck helped herself with a squeeze bunt. They added another pair off walks to Musgrave and Martin and a double by Wilcox in the third. Ring added some insurance in the fourth, battling her way to a seven-pitch walk before stealing second and scoring on a single by Wilcox. The sophomore cleanup hitter went two for three on the day. Boyer and Musgrave each had two hits as well and Kerri Pierce drove in a run with a single up the middle.
Clinton kept it close a few nights earlier in the semi’s trailing by one but a late surge plated a Warrior run in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the sixth creating some breathing room in the 4-0 victory. Ring was the catalyst on offense scoring twice while pounding out three hits and running her way to four stolen bases. She singled in the bottom of the first, moved on a late throw, stole third and trotted home on a passed ball to score the first run.
She put the second one on the board as well following a double and a stolen base. Musgrave forced her in with a single to the left side. And had a hand in another run in pushing in a run following back-to-back doubles by her and Russo and a single by Kendal Morgan to set the table. Morgan had a day going two for three on the day with a sac bunt.