Tell City rallies past Wildcats to advance to sectional finals

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By Larry Goffinet

BRETZVILLE—Tell City rallied for five runs in the sixth inning and beat Mater Dei 5-4 in the Class 2A girls softball sectional semifinals Wednesday.

The Marksmen thus advanced to the championship game for the first time since 1996. They have won two games in the sectional this year after winning only two in the previous 13 years combined.

The Marksmen trailed 2-0 entering the sixth inning. But they started that inning with singles by Hana Reed and Courtney Cain.

Leslie Poole then beat out a bunt to load the bases and Paige Gelarden hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the first run.

Lauren Goffinet followed with a two-run double to left field to put the Marksmen up 3-2.

Kyli Smithson followed with a ground ball to the pitcher. The Wildcats tried to get Goffinet out in a run down, but she dove safely back to second.

After Josalyn Ress hit a fielder’s choice for the second out, Amber Thomas hit a double to left to score Goffinet and courtesy runner Cortni Strobel.

Mater Dei rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of two consecutive Tell City errors.

But Ress shut the Wildcats out in the seventh, holding them to one bunt single.

She gave up seven hits for the game, three of them bunts and all of them singles. She walked none and struck out three.

All four Mater Dei runs were unearned.

Tell City had 10 hits. Cain and Reed each went 2 for 4.

Tell City Coach Dusty Beard praised his three seniors, who combined for all five RBIs.

“Amber had the biggest hit of her career—she just had confidence,” said Beard. “And Paige has stepped up big the last two ballgames.”

Besides Goffinet’s hitting, Beard praised her catching. “Lauren calls a good ballgame—she calls all the pitches. She’s the backbone of this program.”

Right before their big inning, the Marksmen loaded the bases in the fifth but did not score, which might have demoralized some teams.

But instead the Marksmen “stepped up because they didn’t want their season to be over,” said Beard.

“The two innings before we scored our runs we were hitting the ball. We knew we would because we’ve hit it all year. We just hadn’t put them together (for a big inning). This game we did.”

Tell City improved to 15-8 while Mater Dei finished the season 15-12.