By CHRIS BOOTHE
CUSHING — It was a tale of two games during Friday's Regional Semifinal between the Grapeland Sandiettes and Joaquin Lady Rams. The Sandiettes and Lady Rams combined for 22 runs in the Sandiettes 12-10 win in Game 1.
Game 2 was a much different as the teams wouldn't combine for 20 hits, or even 10 runs as the Lady Rams picked up a 4-2 win.
In Game 1, the Sandiettes would waste no time getting on the board by sending 12 batters to the plate and pushing eight runs across the dish to give the Sandiettes an 8-0 lead after an inning of play.
Jayde Westbrook opened the game with a leadoff single and turned it into a double the Westbrook way, by stealing second base. The senior shortstop would then come around to score on a hard-hit single by Clara Shaw.
Shaw would score on a double to the centerfield wall by Shelby Frauenberger as the Sandiettes took a 2-0 lead. Shelby Bruner would follow that with a double of her own, this one to right-centerfield, giving the Sandiettes a 3-0 advantage. Bruner scored on a RBI single by Julie Riess. Riess, who was tied with Bruner for the team lead in RBI entering the series, played just a day after breaking her nose on a line drive shot in practice.
After a base hit by Amy Brown, Riess would come around to score on a sacrifice bunt, turned into a hit by Atlana Watson. Grapeland went on to add four more runs in that inning.
After weathering a four-run inning by Joaquin in the top of the second, the Sandiettes offense would go back to work again. This time the Sandiettes would see a solo home run from Bruner give the Sandiettes a 9-4 lead. The home run was Bruner's fifth of the postseason, as the lefty first baseman has been on a tear throughout the playoffs.
Grapeland scored their 10th run of the night on a RBI double by Watson, scoring Riess, and giving the Sandiettes a commandinng 10-4 lead.
A RBI double in the fifth off the bat of Frauenberger gave the Sandiettes an 11-4 lead, and a RBI single from Bruner would make it a 12-4 cushion.
Joaquin would then begin their comeback. The Lady Rams would score five runs with two outs, giving the underdogs new life in the game one with the score 12-9.
Joaquin would make things interesting in the seventh by scoring again, and moving the tying run to second base. Sandiette pitcher Baylee Lumbreraz would lock down and seal the win from there.
Game 2 got off to a good start for Grapeland, as Westbrook opened the inning with a single. After a the single the Sandiette would steal second and third base before scoring on a throwing error to give the Sandiettes an early 1-0 lead.
Joaquin would turn up the intensity from there, taking advantage of walks, passed balls and wild pitches, as the Lady Rams would score a run in each of the first three innings to take a 3-1 lead.
The Sandiettes would get back on the board in the sixth inning, cutting the deficit to one, and loaded the bases with two outs after the Lady Rams intentionally walked Shaw. The gamble worked as Frauenberger would line out on a hard hit ball to centerfield to end the inning.
After giving up a run in the bottom of the sixth, the Sandiettes would challenge again in the top of the seventh. Grapeland again got a pair of runners on in Brown and Watson, but were unable to convert, as Paige Sullivan struck out swinging to end the game.
The Sandiettes out-hit Joaquin 9-7 in Game 2, but struggled with runners in scoring position. Grapeland left five runners on base in the last two innings, as they were unable to come back and pick up the sweep.