Magnolia Eagles Win Region I, Section II Title
Ashley Tharp hit for the cycle, while scattering five singles and striking out five and walking none in ending an impressive 20-11 season and state-ranked for the Tyler Consolidated Knights in the winner take all sectional finale May 9 in Kidwell by the score of 14-0 in a mercy-rule.
Magnolia scored four runs in the first inning off singles by Tharp, Seckman, Kyndra Pilant and a home-run by Ashlyn Piekarski. With Tharp throwing bee-bees, and keeping Lady Knights off the bases, the Lady Eagles tacked on two more runs in the second that included singles by Seckman and Tharp and a double by Paige Brill to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
Magnolia scored once in the third when Pilant singled, Piekaski doubled and Hamrick knocking in Pilant when the Lady Knights couldn’t handle a Katie Hamrick grounder.
The Eagles put the exclamation point in the fourth when Tharp tripled and belted a long home-run over the center-field fence, and Pilant drilled her third base-hit, and four hit-by-pitches.
Tharp paced the 12-hit Blue Eagle attack by hitting for the cycle, while Piekarski, doubled and homered. Pilant singled three times, while Seckman singled twice and Brill pounded a double.
The first six Blue Eagle batters in the line-up all scored at least one run, with Brill, Tharp and Pilant all touching home three times and Seckman twice.
Magnolia 7, Tyler 4
The Lady Knights’ Vanessa Templeton and the Eagles’ Ashley Tharp were locked in a pitching dual with 16 strikeouts and three walks, but in the end it was the clutch-hitting by the Blue Eagle bats that pulled out a come-from-behind, 7-4, victory to set up the winner-take-all finale a little later.
Templeton struck-out five of the first Magnolia batters she faced, including three looking in the second stanza, and looked to take care of business when JoLee Walton drilled a two-run home-run in the bottom of the second.
However, the Eagle batters got an unearned run in the third and scored twice with two outs in the fourth to take the lead when Pilant doubled prior to an Ashlyn Piekarski HBP, and scored on a Ashley Kelly single. Kayna Anderson belted a double, scoring Pilant to give the visitors a lead they would never relinquish the rest of the day.
Magnolia scored one more run in the fifth on a walk singles by Brill and Tharp and a RBI sacrifice fly by Taylor Ludewig, for a 4-2 lead.
The Eagles added three runs in the top of the seventh on singles by Ludewig, Pilant and Via Anderson, and a double by Brill to extend their lead to 7-2.
Tyler Consolidated wouldn’t go down without a fight, scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh on two-hits, a walk and a fielder’s-choice.
Tharp picked up the win from the circle. She struck out seven and walked one, while helping herself out at the plate with a single. Seckman along with Ludewig, Kelly and Via Anderson each singled, while Kayna Anderson doubled. Pilant singled and doubled, while Brill doubled and singled twice.