Two homers and a shutdown pitching performance helped the Harrisburg Lady Bulldogs advance to the semifinals of the Johnston City Class 2A regional with a 6-0 win at home over Hamilton County in a quarterfinal contest Monday afternoon.
Junior hurler Hanna Jones went 4-for-4 and homered as four-seed Harrisburg (12-19) took down the No. 5 seed Lady Foxes (6-22).
“I thought we played well defensively,” said Harrisburg coach Red Stafford. “Hanna (Jones) pitched a good ball game, and defensively we’ve played much better the last few games than we have the regular season. That’s the name of the game. You’ve got to be able to play a little defense and that’s what we did today.”
Jones struck out eight and walked only one while scattering eight hits in the complete game.
Catcher Brittany Reynolds also went deep for the Lady Bulldogs and junior Kaitlyn Hutchison drove in two runs.
Harrisburg sent seven to the plate in the third inning and led 3-0 after the frame. Reynolds’ long ball in the fifth extended the HHS lead to four runs before Harrisburg plated two more in the sixth.
“The top part of our order, for the most part, has hit well all year,” said Stafford. “We’ve done a good job scoring runs at the top of the order, and the bottom of the order has got to come through for us and score some runs in the postseason for us to go anywhere.”
Carly Sullivan took the loss for Hamilton County. The Lady Foxes left six runners on base for the day and lost a runner at the plate in the second inning.
Alexa Burtis and Hailey Quinn added hits for the Lady Bulldogs.
Harrisburg will take on top-seed Carmi-White County Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 at Johnston City. Carmi beat Harrisburg, 12-4, earlier this spring.
Carmi ended Harrisburg’s season in the regional finals last spring.
West Frankfort 6, Eldorado 2
WEST FRANKFORT - The Eldorado High School softball team saw its season come to an end Monday in the first round of the Johnston City Class 1A Regional.
Michaela Laswell took the loss in the circle as she pitched six innings and gave up six runs (four earned), while striking out five and walking five.
The Redbirds staked to a 3-0 lead after four innings, before Eldorado started its rally by scoring a run in the top of the fifth and sixth inning, but the rally was thwarted due in part to a three-run bottom of the sixth by the Redbirds.
Eldorado had just four hits on the day as Caitlyn Stafford, Charley Lowery, Ashton Unthank and Laswell all had a hit.Stafford and Laswell scored the two runs for Eldorado.