Published on June 3 2014 1:45 pm
Last Updated on June 4 2014 10:51 am
Anni Borries supplied the offense, Kadi Borries supplied the pitching and Teutopolis High School punched its ticket to the IHSA Class 2A state softball tournament with a 2-1 win over Carterville in Tuesday's Johnston City Super-Sectional.
T-town trailed 1-0 after five innings and had managed just one hit and three baserunners against the Lady Lions' impressive sophomore pitcher Avery English, but Raegan Drees led off the bottom of the sixth by drawing English's first and only walk of the evening. She quickly became the first Lady Shoe to advance past first base when she beat the throw to second on Madison Cowman's ensuing bunt.
Anni Borries made sure to cash in on T-town's best scoring opportunity of the afternoon, serving a 2-2 pitch down the right field line for a two-run triple that landed just inches inside the chalk. Drees easily scored the tying run and Cowman never slowed down as she beat a slow-developing relay to the plate. English retired three straight Teutopolis hitters to squelch any further threat, but Kadi Borries made short work of Carterville in the top of the seventh to secure her program's first-ever state tournament berth.
Carterville notched its lone tally in the fourth frame; English led off by yanking a double off the left field fence, missing a home run by no more than a few feet. Cleanup hitter Carly Callahan chased her home, however, sending a screaming line drive off the glove of a helpless Allison Apke at third base. The ball squirted into no-man's land and ended up an RBI double.
Kadi Borries bore down after that, though, inducing an infield pop-up and then getting some help from her defense as Apke snared a line drive and then doubled Callahan off of second base thanks to some acrobatics from Cowman to keep her foot on the bag.
Borries also pitched out of some first inning trouble; she allowed a leadoff single and then threw Kylee Rock's would-be sacrifice bunt into center field as she tried to cut down the lead runner. English laid down a successful sacrifice to get runners to second and third with just one out, but two straight strikeouts ended the threat.
In the fifth, a one-out walk, a sacrifice bunt, an infield hit and a stolen base got Carterville runners on second and third with two down, but Borries worked a sharp 5-3 groundout off the bat of University of Illinois-bound catcher Kylee Rock to end the inning on a very close play at first.
Overall, Borries surrendered four hits in her seven innings of work, allowing one earned run with two walks and five strikeouts. She threw 108 pitches - 68 of them for strikes - and got a first-pitch strike on 18 of 27 hitters.
English was the epitome of a tough-luck loser; she surrendered all of two hits in her six innings, but allowed two runs (both earned) with one walk and 10 strikeouts. She also hit two batters; Julie Wente was the victim on both occasions. Sixty-three of her 94 pitches were strikes, and she worked ahead of 15-of-22 hitters. English struck out the first four batters of the game.
Cowman had T-town's only other hit, guiding a sharp single through the hole between first and second with two outs in the third. She also very nearly made a diving catch on Megan Barrett's game-opening single. Barrett was 2-for-3 and had the only multi-hit game for either club.
Carterville sees its season end at 28-7; the Lady Lions made three straight state tourney appearances in 2006-08 and won a title in the last of those trips (actually ending T-town's season at the super-sectional level that year) but hadn't been back since and had won just one regional and one sectional before this season's deep run.
For T-town, which improves to 28-3, it was a case of finally getting over the super-sectional hump. Coach Rich Niebrugge had guided his Lady Shoes within one win of state tourney berths in 2008, 2009 and 2013, and in his 12th season he will finally get the opportunity to coach for championship hardware in East Peoria.
T-town will face Beecher, an 18-0 winner over Westmont in its own super-sectional, at 5:30 p. m. Friday in East Peoria's EastSide Centre. That game can be heard on KJ Country 102.3. The other semifinal is a 3 p. m. contest between Monticello and Rock Island Alleman.
Both Teutopolis games and both Altamont games Friday and Saturday will be broadcast on KJ Country 102.3 and www.kjcountry.com.