JOHNSTON CITY - In the leadoff spot, Hanna Jones took the first pitch she saw in Tuesday's IHSA Class 2A Johnston City Regional. The second pitch however, was more to her liking as Jones crushed a solo shot over the center field fence.
That run proved to be all the Bulldogs needed as they knocked off No. 1 seeded Carmi-White County 1-0 Tuesday at Johnston City in prep softball action.
From there, Jones settled in the pitching circle, improving her record to 12-12 as she scattered just three hits and struck out five for the victory.
The Bulldogs are back in the championship game for a second straight season.
"We're not playing like we hoped we would have played all year," Harrisburg High School assistant coach KT Nelson said. "It's nice to see Hanna rounding into form and she's starting to look a lot like she did last year. She's now given us two solid ballgames in the row."
Harrisburg (13-19) will now play the winner of either Johnston City or West Frankfort Saturday at 11 a.m. for the regional championship.
Galatia-Thompsonville 16, Norris City-Omaha-Enfield 1
JUNCTION - The Galatia-Thompsonville softball team busted out the bats for 15 hits in a 16-1 win over Norris City-Omaha-Enfield in the semifinals of the IHSA Class 1A Gallatin County Regional.
With the win, the Bearcats improve to 21-9 on the season as starting pitcher Larissa Bond improved her record to 17-4.
Bond went three innings in the victory, tossing a two hitter and striking out one, giving up no earned runs.
Emily Reed came on in relief and struck out three and one hit over two innings.
Lexi Johnson and Elizabeth Sloan paced Galatia-Thompsonville at the plate, as both finished 2-for-2 on the day. Johnson added four RBIs for the Bearcats, while Reed and Baylee Blackburn both went 2-for-4. Blackburn added three RBIs on the day.
Madison Fletcher finished 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, while Bond also finished 2-for-3.
Galatia-Thompsonville scored two runs in both the first and second innings, before piling on 12 runs in the third inning.
Galatia-Thompsonville head coach Kevin Lewis advised his team prior to the start that despite beating NCOE twice already in the season, Tuesday wasn't the day to have a let down.
"We didn't mess around today," Lewis said. "We went right after them like we're supposed to. We came out hitting the ball well and we kept hitting the ball."
The Bearcats will now play the winner of Crab Orchard or Gallatin County in Saturday's regional championship game, starting at 11 a.m.