The Paris Lady Tigers rolled past Jacksonville Wednesday (May 23) in the regional semifinal matchup, beating the Lady Crimsons 16-1.
The victory moves the Lady Tigers into the Class 3A regional championship at 11 today in Lincoln, facing the number one seed Chatham Glenwood Lady Titans for the regional championship. Chatham Glenwood defeatged Lincoln 7-5 in their regional semi-final matchup on Tuesday.
After a fairly slow-paced first three innings that resulted in a 3-1 lead for Paris, the Lady Tigers erupted in the fourth, scoring 13 runs on 10 of 12 hitting before the 10-run rule came into effect.
Throughout the bottom of the fourth inning, Paris was powered by homeruns from Kaitlyn Mathews and Terra Fancher, a double from Whitney Todd and singles from Brooklyn Westerfield, Carlei Sapp and Sydney Fox.
Once on base, the highlights did not stop for Sapp and Todd. The pair was able to steal a base each, further adding to the Jacksonville woes.
Fancher was the spark for the Lady Tiger offense in the fourth, leading off the inning with a single and then scoring. Later in the inning, Fancher used precise placement with a line drive down the inside of the right foul line to score on an inside the park grand-slam, bringing in Bailey Bradley, Aubrey Sanders and Todd.
The game began with relatively hot bats from Jacksonville with the team jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Lady Crimsons cooled down after that, combining for merely two hits the remainder of the game.
This was due in large part to the continued excellence this season of Mathews in the circle. For the day, Mathews gave up only four hits and one run while striking out five of the 16 batters she faced. Mathews threw a total of 61 pitches and mustered an impressive strike percentage of .705 for the evening with 43 strikes.
Along with the superb effort from Mathews on the mound, the Lady Tigers defense did not commit a single error in the contest handling ball after ball from their opponent’s bats.
Kelsie Dosch led the team defensively, handling five Jacksonville chances with ease. The top of the fourth was closed by the Paris defense quickly with two groundouts to Katrina Strow and Todd and a strikeout.
Paris was spurred on by multiple hits from Westerfield, Mathews, Fancher, Sapp, Aubrey Sanders and Todd during the game. The group was firing on all cylinders and tore through the Jacksonville pitching rotation, collecting 12 of the 15 hits the team had in the contest. They also managed to collect 13 of the team’s 15 RBIs with Sydney Fox collecting the other two on a hit and a pop-out in the fourth inning. Fox’s hit brought in the 16th run of the day for the Lady Tigers and effectively closed out the game.
Ragen Myers took the loss for the Crimsons, giving up five runs on six hits and walking three batters through three innings. She retired near the start of the fourth inning after giving up a hit and walking another.
Myers also held the brunt of the Jacksonville offense going 2-2 at the plate and scoring the sole run of the day for the Crimsons in the first inning.
It has been a season to remember for Coach Jeremy Clodfelder’s Lady Tigers as they have outplayed and outhit several opponents leading up to post season play.
The team ended regular season play on a three-game winning streak and could not have picked a better time to get hot as they soared through postseason play.