FAIRFIELD — Wilmington’s storybook post-season run ended Tuesday with a 9-6 loss to Kings in a Division I Southwest District semifinal game at Creekside Middle School’s softball complex.
Wilmington’s season ends at 8-15. Kings moves on with an 18-11 record.
The Hurricane made a game of it despite the top four in the batting order going a collective 0-for-12. Kings intentionally walked Harlie Bickett twice, once to leadoff an inning.
But the bottom of the lineup came through with several big hits, particularly in the fifth.
“Harlie and those gals have been hitting the ball well but the last few weeks the bottom of my order has really flourished,” WHS coach Brian Spurlock said.
Wilmington grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to three bases on balls and two Kings errors. Grace Brown singled in a run as well.
The Hurricane defense made its presence known with a 5-2-6 double play to help Toria Willis work out of a first-inning jam despite having the bases loaded with no outs.
The Knights cashed in on those hard-hit balls in the second, though, when Ainsley Herron blasted one off the left field fair pole with two on for a 3-2 Kings lead. Raelynn Coomer added to the lead in the third with a two-run single, 5-2.
Wilmington’s fifth started innocently enough with a comebacker to the pitcher, who was now Jasmine Lantz. Maddie Williams exited after four innings.
“Some of my lesser experienced kids, as the flow of the games goes on, they get more focused,” said Spurlock.
Then an error and stolen base put Rhoads on second, where she scored on a Willis single. One out later, Madison Hisco kept the inning alive with a single.
Then Keiara Murdock had the clutch two-out, two-run double to right center to tie the game at 5-5.
Equally clutch, Kaitlyn Partin then singled to right to score courtesy runner Rylee Oglesby to give Wilmington a 6-5 lead.
Kings tied it in the bottom of the fifth then went up big in the sixth, scoring three times. The key hit was a two-run single by Emily Mason.
Spurlock said the loss hurts but more so knowing it was the final game in orange and black for seniors Harlie Bickett, Emily Self, Grace Brown and Kaitlyn Partin.
“I’m gonna miss those four like you can’t imagine,” he said.
May 18, 2021
Div I Cincinnati Sectional
@Creekside MS, Fairfield
Kings 9 Wilmington 6
(6) WILMINGTON (ab-r-h-r bi) Emily Self 3-1-0-0 Harlie Bickett 2-0-0-0 Navaeh Blackburn 4-0-0-0 Jena Rhoads 3-2-0-0 Toria Willis 3-0-1-1 Grace Brown 4-0-2-1 Madison Hisco 4-1-1-0 Keiara Murdock 4-0-1-2 Kaitlyn Partin 2-0-1-1 Dani Riley 0-1-0-0 Rylee Oglesby 0-1-0-0 TOTALS 29-6-6-5
(9) KINGS (ab-r-h-rbi) Ainsley Herron 3-1-1-3 Alyssa Medina 4-1-3-0 Abigail Noble 2-0-2-0 Sydni Baker 4-1-2-1 Emily Mason 4-1-2-2 Mia Ridenour 4-1-1-0 Isabelle Noble 1-1-1-0 Jasmine Lantz 2-1-1-1 Raelynn Coomer 3-0-1-2 Maddi Williams 2-1-0-0 Abigail Trapp 0-1-0-0
2B: W-Keiara Murdock; K-Alyssa Medina
HR: K-Ainsley Herron, Jasmine Lantz
SB: W-Jena Rhoads 2
Toria Willis (L)^6^16^9^9^4^3
Jasmine Lantz (W)^3^4^6^0^1^3
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports