Danville loses heartbreaker in semis

June 03, 2004|JILL ERWIN

RUSSELL SPRINGS - Danville couldn't cash in on what turned out to be its final opportunity, but Pulaski Southwestern was able to do just that.

The Warriors knocked in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday to beat Danville 2-1 in the second semifinal of the 12th Region Tournament. Southwestern (30-10) will face South Laurel, which defeated Garrard County 3-1, in the championship game tonight.

With the game tied at 1, Southwestern's Laura Wright started the home half of the eighth with a grounder to third. Renee Chiu bobbled the ball, then overthrew first to put Wright on. The next two batters grounded out, moving Wright to third with two outs.

Jessica Girdler worked the count to 3-1 before sending a single up the middle to score Wright with the game-winner.

Danville had missed out on a similar opportunity in the top half of the inning.


"We got on in the last inning, but we didn't get our runner in and they did with two outs," Danville coach Jerry Perry said. "They get to go on and we're done. I don't mean that bad, it's just the way it goes."

Ads had chance to take lead

The Admirals (21-17) had a chance to take the lead in the top of the eighth. With one out, Jerrica Potts walked. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Renee Chiu and took third on a passed ball, but Monica Vonderbrink popped out to first to end the threat.

The eighth was the first inning Danville was able to consistently put the bat on the ball from seventh-grade relief pitcher Shelby Kosmecki. Kosmecki replaced Kasey Blair after Vonderbrink reached on an error to open the fourth inning. Kosmecki went on to strike out 11 of the first 14 batters she faced and kept the Danville batters off balance.

"She's just a lot faster," Perry said. "When you get used to one thing, and then they bring in something totally different, it's hard to catch up. I felt like we were catching up, but we couldn't catch up early enough. It was a good move on their part. There's nothing you can do about that other than go up there and take cuts and see what happens."

Southwestern scored the first run of the game after a triple by Wright and a wild pitch in the bottom of the second. Danville answered with a run of its own in the third.

The Admirals got a leadoff single from Kelly Embree, who moved to second on a groundout by Morgan Young.

Liz Ruth followed with a single that fell just inside the left-field foul line and scored Embree, and Ruth took second on the throw home. Potts grounded to the shortstop, who tried to tag Ruth out going to third, but she dropped the ball to put runners on first and third with one out.

However, Chiu lined a shot to Jessica Girdler at second, who doubled Potts off first to end the inning.

"We had opportunities early against the first pitcher, and we didn't get our runs in when we needed to," Perry said. "I think if we get them in at that time, we win the game."

Wallace pitched well

Chelsea Wallace didn't give up too much on the mound for Danville.

She allowed just three hits, but the game-winner was the first hit after Wright's second-inning triple. She threw only 48 pitches over those final six innings, striking out three for the game and walking one.

A 47-minute lightning delay with one out in the top of the sixth didn't appear to disrupt either pitcher. Kosmecki came back to strike out the next two batters, and Wallace needed just six pitches to set the Warriors down in order in the bottom half.

Danville committed two errors in the game and missed out on the opportunities it had. But Perry said he was pleased with how the Admirals played.

"I know some of the girls are upset with themselves, feeling like they could have done this, could have done that, should have done this, should have done that," Perry said. "But the bottom line is we played real hard, we got after it and we had a legitimate shot to go to the next round.

"It's pretty obvious we fit in and we could have very well won this game 2-1 just as well as they did and be playing South Laurel for the championship."

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