An error-laden fourth inning completely shifted the momentum in Thursday night’s Class 1A Regional Softball Quarterfinal in Bussey, as Twin Cedars rallied from a 2-0 deficit to eventually come away with a 12-4 win over cross-county rival Melcher-Dallas.
The Saints held the upper hand early, finding success at the plate and working behind pitcher Lexi Crozier to shut down the Sabers’ offense. That all changed in the fourth frame, though, as five errors allowed Twin Cedars to make a two-out, seven run rally; sparked by Kassidy Swayne’s two-RBI single to left field that tied the game.
The play of the game came in the following inning, though, as the Saints looked like they’d be able to recover from the 7-2 deficit. With the bases loaded, Sabers’ shortstop Alee Hugen made a diving, back-handed stab on a Melcher-Dallas line drive; then hopped up and fired the ball to second base for a double play. One batter later, the threat was silenced and the Saints were unable to pull themselves back in.
Offensively, Twin Cedars was led by Ayla Crosby’s 3-for-4 performance at the plate, as she scored once and batted in a pair of runs; while teammate Brooke Dunkin was 3-for-5 with a run as well. The team’s twelve hits helped back up pitcher Mackenzie Sedlock, who allowed seven hits and three walks in seven innings of work – striking out two Saints’ batters.
Melcher-Dallas starter Lexi Crozier took the loss, walking two and striking out three batters. Sisters Sydney and Hannah Wilson led Melcher-Dallas at the plate, with the elder Wilson going 2-for-4 with a double, and Hannah finishing 2-for-3.
Melcher-Dallas finishes the softball season with a 16-17 record, while Twin Cedars improves to 23-14 and will face Moravia Saturday night on the Mohawks’ home field in the Class 1A Regional Semifinals.