|Fri, Jul 25, 2014 09:49 AM
June 04, 2014 | 11:51 AM
Before heavy rains drenched players from South Central and Borden, the Lady Rebels were staying within striking distance of their Class A No. 4 opponent.
Similar to the opening round Borden won against Lanesville, the Lady Braves used dominant pitching to pave the way to the Class A Lanesville Sectional title.
On her game again, Borden twirler Paige Schindler struck out 16, giving up one hit against South Central. The end result was the Lady Braves celebrating, after the rain had passed, the program's first sectional.
"We knew they would be a tough team to beat and, when they got up 3-0, I figured it would be tough to overcome," South Central coach Katie Crecelius said.
The three-run first inning could have been worse. The first four batters — Riley Schindler, Paige Schindler, Haley Shouse and Kristen Nestor — reached on singles. All but Nestor's were of the infield variety. Her hit, up the middle, plated two.
South Central pitcher Haley Shaffer appeared to have the game's first out when she struck out Taylor Streander but a loose ball allowed the runner to reach first.
Shaffer, however, was able to work out of trouble. All nine Borden batters came to the plate in the inning, but were held to three runs when Shaffer retired three of the final four plate appearances.
Borden took advantage of a one-out double by Paige Schindler in the second inning, along with a South Central error, to plate two runs. Kate Gertin had a run-scoring single in the frame.
From there, South Central settled in defensively. The Lady Rebels held Borden scoreless the next three innings.
"We had a couple of nice three-up, three-down innings defensively," Crecelius said. "We definitely prepared ourselves through scouting but knew it would be tough. She has a great rise ball and likes to work the inside corner."
The problem was, the Lady Rebels couldn't generate offense against Schindler. Not only was Schindler strong in the circle, she also went 4 for 5 at the plate, eventually scoring each time she reached base.
In the third inning, South Central's Jasmine Nalley reached on walk but was thrown out attempting to steal on the next pitch.
Figuring in the caught stealing, Schindler faced the minimum through five innings.
Dark clouds rolled in to the Lanesville Youth Complex as Schindler hit a triple early in the sixth inning. Playing through the cool rain shower, a run-scoring single by Nestor and a three-bagger by Taylor Streander added two insurance runs.
South Central's Oakley Taylor reached first with two outs in the bottom of the sixth when she was hit by a Schindler pitch. After that, umpires delayed the game 10 minutes as the storm passed and diamond dry was applied to areas of the infield.
On the soft surface, three South Central errors in the top of the seventh led to more Borden runs.
Seeking to complete her second no-hitter of the tournament, South Central senior Victoria Sallee had another idea.
Following a solid line-out to the right-center gap by teammate Haley Shaffer, Sallee was up to the task of solving Schindler.
Fouling off several pitches, Sallee found one she could handle and rocketed the ball to the left-field fence for a double.
"If I could have picked somebody to get that hit, it would have been Victoria," Crecelius said. "We lose her and Vivian Temple (to graduation), and they had solid seasons."
Behind her, Olivia Ferree blistered a ball back Schindler's way, but the savvy pitcher knocked the ball down and recorded the final out.
"She made a heck of a play on the last one," Crecelius said. "Our hardest hit balls were in the last inning."
Completing her first year as head coach at South Central (4-17), Crecelius looks forward to taking momentum from a sectional final appearance forward.
"We are definitely happy to be here. It's a good place to start heading into next year," she said. "It's been since 1998 the program has been in a sectional final. We'll keep building the program."
Crecelius said she felt the score didn't accurately show how tight the game was prior to the sixth and seventh innings.
"We wish Borden nothing but the best of luck," she said. "They are a great team and I can see them going a long way."
Borden 320 002 4 – 11 13 0
South Central 000 000 0 – 0 1 6
W – P. Schindler, L – H. Shaffer.
2B – P. Schindler (B), V. Sallee (SC); 3B – P. Schindler (B), T. Streander (B).