"Jenny (Ralston) does a good job of holding runners to their bases and was able to pick off four runners today. I'm a little biased because I coach her, but I think she is the best catcher in the 12th Region. She's not afraid to take chances."
Boyle (9-14) scored one time in the first inning to grab a 1-0 advantage. With one out, Joanna Frauenhoffer walked and reached third on an error. She scored on a Tiffany Webb fielder's choice. Ralston, who threw out Amber Mills trying to steal for the first out of the inning, threw behind C.C. Leffew at third to pick her off to end the inning.
"We're smarter baserunners than we showed today," Boyle coach Heather Oates said. "Lincoln played well. They hit the ball and made all of the plays in the field. A lot of our problem today was we were lacking the intensity we played with earlier in the season. We just need to regain our focus before next week."
Lincoln (10-14) tied the game in the second. Jenny Jones singled to left with one out and Schuler laid down a sacrifice bunt. She was thrown out by Mills, but Webb's throw to third to attempt to get Jones got by shortstop Allie Hafley and Jones scored.
"Becky did the little things for us today and played well," Young said. "She was able to get down the bunt, then came through for us with a single in the sixth that scored another run."
Boyle rallies in the fifth
Lincoln scored twice in the third on a fielder's choice and sacrifice fly to lead 3-1, but Boyle rallied with two runs to tie the game in the fifth.
Melissa Shannon was hit by a pitch with one out and was replaced by courtesy runner Meghan Groves. Mills' triple to left field - Boyle's only hit of the game - scored Groves. Mills scored on Frauenhoffer's ground out to tie the game at 3-3.
Lincoln took the lead for good with two runs in the sixth. Ralston walked to lead off the frame and scored two outs later when Jones doubled to left center. Schuler's single scored Jones to end the scoring.
Crabtree walked four and hit two while striking out six in a complete game effort. Losing pitcher Mary Beth Pennington gave up just five hits.
The two teams face off again in next week's 45th District Tournament at Danville, and Young said any of the four teams in the tournament could come away with the title.
"This game doesn't mean a thing right now," the Lincoln coach said. "The game next week is the one that counts. This win could give us a big boost going into next week's tournament. Whoever wants it the most will come out on top."
"I think it could go either way for us," Oates said. "I think it's not going to matter if we don't regain our enthusiasm. If we can do that, though, I feel confident with any team that we face."