LACROSSE | One big inning was all Morgan Township needed to stay alive in the Class A softball sectional.
The Cherokees batted around and scored five runs on six hits in the fourth inning, and that was just enough to come from behind and beat Washington Township 5-4 in Tuesday’s semifinal.
The Cherokees will meet the winner of today’s Kouts vs. Covenant Christian semifinal in Friday’s title game.
The first three Morgan Twp. players reached base in the fourth. Kari Gourley plated the first run with a single.
“We finally came alive with our bats that inning,” Morgan Township coach Richard Patterson said.
Mollie Penner beat out a two-out infield single to score another run and pull within 4-2. Rory Rankin followed with a sharp ground ball to short that handcuffed the Washington Twp. shortstop and allowed the tying runs to score.
“Those two plays killed us,” Senators coach Jack Corley said. “Without those two plays, they only score two runs.”
Morgan Lippens put the Cherokees (13-12) ahead for good with a triple to right that scored Rankin.
The Senators had the tying run in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth innings, but Kaley Lauder pitched out of trouble both times to preserve the lead. She went the distance in the circle to earn the win.
“She’s our senior leader, and she’s done a great job for us all year long,” Patterson said.
Washington Township (10-10) took a 1-0 lead on the first batter of the game when Alexandra Cobb tripled to right and came home to score on a throwing error.
Cobb and Kacie Corley each drove in a run in the second, and Ashley Hines doubled in the fourth before eventually scoring on a Cherokees throwing error.
Morgan Twp. committed six errors in the game.
“We gave them four runs that they shouldn’t have had with the way we threw the ball around,” Patterson said.
Corley finished with two hits to lead Washington Township. Penner had a pair of singles for the Cherokees.