VIENNA - Wheeling Central kept its championship hopes alive here at Jackson Park on Wednesday night, with a 5-2 victory against Man in the loser's bracket.
After hitting a speed bump during their return to Vienna dropping an opening winner's bracket game versus Buffalo, 1-0, in the morning round, the Maroon Knights quickly smoothed their path, scoring their first run of the tournament on a Man error in the first inning. The Knights took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the second until Man tied the game with a bases-loaded RBI single by senior Emilee Osborne.
"Getting that first run of the tournament was a huge relief for all of us, no one likes to get shutout of a game ever," Maroon Knights coach Rick McGruder said.
Wheeling Central’s Sarah Henry delivers during Wednesday’s game. She pitched all seven innings.
Man took the lead shortly there after on a two-out single by lead-off hitter Kelly Grimmett. Wheeling Central immediately answered in the third inning, scoring the unearned tying run on an error by Hillbilly junior first baseman Madison Keffer.
The score remained tied 2-2 until the top of the sixth when Central pitcher Sarah Henry drove in a runner from third; followed by a two RBI single by leftfielder Cassidy McCord, two batters later. The Hillbillies would go on to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh but did not convert.
"The sixth inning was gigantic for us, with Sarah rolling on the mound, scoring those runs gave her a little breathing room going into the seventh inning," McGruder said.
Breathing room they were certainly glad to have as Man's last ditch effort in the seventh saw Man load the bases only to exhale a huge sigh of relief as opposing pitcher Taylor Tomblin popped out to end the game.
Tomblin went all seven innings for Man, allowing five runs on eight hits. For the Maroon Knights, Henry went the distance, allowing two runs on eight hits with zero walks.
Henry went the distance on the mound. She gave up two runs on eight hits with zero walks. Completing the game for Man was senior Tomblin. Tomblin gave up eight hits and allowed five runs with one strikeout and zero walks.
The leading hitters on the day for Wheeling Central were Allison Cook who went 2-for-3 and Cassidy McCord who went 1-for-3 with two RBI.
Leading the Hillbillies was Osborne who went 2-for-3 with a run batted in.