By: Nate Calvin
CLYDE – Jocelyn Layman and Kacy Connolly each had two-out RBIs as Hilltop edged Wayne Trace 4-3 to earn a second straight appearance in the regional finals.
Wayne Trace was able to plate a run in their first at-bat as Kaitlin Slade singled and Paige Alber walked against Hilltop starting pitcher Giada Rising.
After the runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, Alivia Miller would slap a single to right to score Slade and put the Raiders in front 1-0.
Hilltop took the lead in the second inning as Lana Baker singled and advanced to second base on the throw from the outfield to open the inning.
Leanna Baker then followed her sister with a single to left to drive in Lana and tie the score 1-1.
Baker would then steal second and come around to score on an error by the catcher to put Hilltop in front 2-1.
Hilltop added another run in the third as Layman was hit by a pitch and scored on a two-out double by Connolly to make it 3-1.
The Raiders would manufacture a run of their own with two outs in the top of the fourth on a KatieAnna Baumle RBI single to trim the Hilltop lead to 3-2.
Hilltop would get their final run of the night in the bottom of the fourth as Erica Dennison and A. Austin each singled with two outs.
Hilltop loaded the bases as Rising reached on an error and Layman came thru with an RBI single to right to increase the Cadets advantage to 4-2
A single and a double started the fifth for the Raiders which led to a Hilltop pitching change as senior Lana Baker took over in the circle for Rising.
Baker limited the damage to just one run by Wayne Trace on a sacrifice fly by Miller as the Cadets now led 4-3.
The Raiders threatened one more time in the seventh as Slade singled and Miller reached on Hilltop’s first error of the game with two outs.
Lana Baker ended the game at that point as she got Ava Zartman to groundout to second thus sending the Cadets back to the regional finals.
Leanna Baker and Layman each tallied two hits for Hilltop while the Raiders were paced by a double and two singles from Slade.
Hilltop now takes on Lincolnview (23-4) on Friday at 5pm back at Clyde High School.
WAYNE TRACE 100 110 0 – 3 8 3
HILLTOP 021 100 x – 4 8 1
Records: Wayne Trace 19-6, Hilltop 24-5
WINNING PITCHER: Rising (4 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks) OTHER: Lana Baker
LOSING PITCHER: Bland (6 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned, 1 strikeout, 1 walk)
LEADING HITTERS: (WT) Slade-double, 2 singles; Miller-single, 2 RBIs; Baumle-2 singles, RBI; (Hilltop) Layman-2 singles, RBI; Connolly-double, RBI; Leanna Baker-2 singles, RBI
Nate can be reached at email@example.com