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Class 1A Regional Softball: No. 1 Lady Westerners blank Eagles 10-0

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

(Sentinel photo by Roy Tucker) A-W's Monica Harvey beams as teammate Sarah Parkinson offers congratulations in the fourth inning. Harvey doubled and scored on an MMC throwing error to give A-W a 5-0 lead.
AKRON -- Top-ranked Akron-Westfield got a step closer to its ninth straight state tournament appearance with a 10-0 win over Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn in a Class 1A regional semifinal contest on Monday.

The battle between the two War Eagle Conference foes was a lot closer than the final score would indicate, however.

"Both teams were ready to play," A-W coach Todd Colt said. "Both teams hit the ball hard - we were just fortunate that we hit it where they were not. They had some hard shots right at us and we made the plays.

(Sentinel photo by Roy Tucker) Akron-Westfield center fielder Jaclyn Smith grabs a pop fly to record the third out of the third inning. A-W defeated Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 10-0 to advance to the regional final on Wednesday in Orange City.
"The score probably doesn't give you a true picture of the game tonight because (MMC) did some things really well offensively and we were just fortunate that they came right at us."

The A-W defense backed up starter Brandi Davis by stranding seven MMC runners on base for the game.

Davis recorded the only strikeout of the game on either side of the ball and that out was the final out of the game.

"Sometimes Brandi pitches her way out of jams and tonight our defense got her out of jams," Colt said. "It's nice to know as a pitcher that you have a strong defense behind you."

The junior hurler tossed a four-hit shutout and walked two in the complete-game effort.

The Lady Westerners tagged Kayla Foresman for 13 hits and took advantage of five errors by the Eagles to plate their 10 runs.

Haley Coyle went 4-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored while Tasha Johnson drove in four runs and scored another in her 4-for-4 plate performance.

Monica Harvey went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored while Sarah Parkinson singled.

Kayla Tindall doubled and scored twice while Jaclyn Smith doubled and scored in the fifth inning.

Stephanie Specht, who drove in the game-winning run against Gehlen Catholic in Friday's 11-inning regional quarterfinal, went 2-for-2 and drew a walk to lead the Eagles.

"I thought we executed well on defense and we executed well on offense," Colt said. "I thought our girls played aggressively offensively and defensively. We try to do that on regular basis."

A-W got on the board right away in the first inning as Harvey singled and then scored as MMC tried to tag out Jordan Hansen as she was stealing second base.

Haley Coyle doubled and scored on Johnson's single in the second inning. Johnson also scored in the inning to put A-W ahead 3-0.

Foresman stranded two runners in the third inning, which was one of two innings in which A-W did not score a run.

With two outs in the fourth, Davis reached on an error and then scored on Harvey's RBI double. Harvey scored on the same play as the MMC outfielders struggled to field the hit and throw the ball in.

Tindall doubled, stole third and then scored on Haley Coyle's single to start the scoring in the fifth.

Haley Coyle moved to third on Smith's double and both runners scored on Johnson's hit.

Parkinson laced a one-out single in the sixth, but Jordan Hansen, the catcher's courtesy runner, was picked off trying to steal third. Foresman retired the final batter to get out of the inning without allowing a run.

Katie Coyle drew a leadoff walk in the seventh and scored on Haley Coyle's double. Haley Coyle scored on Johnson's RBI single to give the game its final score.

A-W (32-1) will face West Lyon (21-6), which defeated West Bend-Mallard 2-1 Monday, in Wednesday's Class 1A Region 1 final in Orange City.

"This was definitely one of our best efforts of the year," Colt said. "Now we will let our experience guide our focus."

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