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Lady Panthers win sectional championship

  • The Pinckneyville High School softball team poses with the Johnston City 2A Sectional championship plaque Saturday.

    The Pinckneyville High School softball team poses with the Johnston City 2A Sectional championship plaque Saturday.
    Daniel Herbst Photo

  • Panther first baseman Daisy Dudek stretches for a close play out against Trico.

    Panther first baseman Daisy Dudek stretches for a close play out against Trico.
    Daniel Herbst Photo

  • Megan Mayo ties the game at 1-1 with a home run to center field in the fifth inning.

    Megan Mayo ties the game at 1-1 with a home run to center field in the fifth inning.
    Daniel Herbst Photo

  • Panthers coach Alan Engelhardt fist bumps Megan Mayo on her game-tying homer as teammates gather at the plate.

    Panthers coach Alan Engelhardt fist bumps Megan Mayo on her game-tying homer as teammates gather at the plate.
    Daniel Herbst Photo


  • Daniel Herbst Photo

  • Mariah Clark throws the game's final pitch.

    Mariah Clark throws the game's final pitch.
    Holly Kee Photo

  • The Lady Panthers collect their second consecutive Sectional trophy with their win at Johnston City.

    The Lady Panthers collect their second consecutive Sectional trophy with their win at Johnston City.
    Daniel Herbst Photo


  • Holly Kee Photo

 
updated: 5/27/2018 2:34 PM

JOHNSTON CITY -- The Pinckneyville High School softball team put itself one win away from a return trip to the state tournament with an 8-4 victory over Trico in the championship game of the Johnston City 2A Sectional on Saturday.

The Lady Panthers improved to 32-4 and play in the Johnston City Super-Sectional on Monday afternoon against Casey-Westfield, a team it split with during the regular season. The winner advances to the IHSA's Class 2A state semifinals in East Peoria.

Trico (28-5) scored the game's first run when Juhle Prange hit a home run off of Mariah Clark in the second inning.

It stayed 1-0 until Pinckneyville plated five runs in the fifth inning after not getting a hit against Jade Kranawetter in the first four frames.

Megan Mayo started the rally with a home run.

"We were kind of dead in the water then Megan Mayo hits a huge home run to let us breathe again," said Pinckneyville coach Alan Engelhardt. "She's come through in such big spots for us. She put a great swing on it."

Lynlee Lindner then drew a one-out walk and Dasiy Dudek hit an RBI single. Then with two outs, Josie Gleason then hit a fly ball that was dropped and both Kylee Kling and Emma Banach made it hurt with run-scoring hits to make it 5-1.

"We had a lot of kids contribute which is what you expect from this group," Engelhardt said. "We have kids in a lot of spots that can hit."

Trico's Danyelle Eilers hit a two-run double in the sixth and were within a run before Lindner made a spectacular shoestring catch in right field to keep the Lady Panthers in the lead.

"That's a big play," Engelhardt said. "With a runner on second, they probably score and tie the game. They had all the momentum."

Lauren Jackson hit a two-out, bases-loaded fly ball to left field that was misplayed to give Pinckneyville three more runs in the seventh.

Clark finished with 13 strikeouts in the circle for the Lady Panthers.

 
 
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