by Beau Wicker
WEST LAFAYETTE —
Logansport’s softball team hovered around .500 this entire season, but the Berries knew they had the talent to contend for the always highly competitive Class 4A, Sectional 7 title.
The Berries came out bashing the ball against Lafayette Jeff and it looked like they were well on their way to a big sectional win in a semifinal game on Tuesday night at Harrison.
But the Bronchos didn’t quit. They kept chipping away before recording an improbable come-from-behind victory.
Jeff sophomore catcher Maegan Rusk hit a walkoff three-run double that capped a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Bronchos to a 12-11 win over the Berries.
The Bronchos (13-15) will face Harrison (12-13) for the sectional title on Thursday night. The Berries finish with a 13-13 record.
The Berries thought they caught a big break when they didn’t have to face Jeff ace Kaitlynn Moody to start the game. The hard-throwing sophomore right-hander hadn’t pitched in two weeks because of an arm injury.
The Berries pounded the ball the first two innings in jumping out to a 6-2 lead with Tori Crouch on the mound. Moody was then brought in to pitch in the third inning, and the Berries got to her for five runs in the top of the fourth inning to jump out to an 11-2 lead.
But Moody battled through her injury and shut the Berries down the rest of the way. And the Bronchos scored four in the fourth to cut the lead to 11-6 and one more in the sixth to make it a four-run ballgame before the big comeback in the seventh.
Logansport pitcher Bailie Long displayed craftiness beyond her years her freshman season, shutting down a lot of good hitting teams throughout the year and keeping the Berries in almost all of their games. But the Bronchos got to her for 12 runs on 16 hits in winning in a slugfest.
“I’m giving them credit for hitting the ball,” Logan coach Jim Bacon said.
The Berries finished with 11 runs on 13 hits but were held hitless by Moody in the final three innings.
“We didn’t give up,” Bacon said. “We hit the ball well. I don’t know that we had an error. So we played well. They deserved to win.”
All nine players in the Berry lineup finished with at least one hit. Sydney Thompson went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Bailey Kelley and Kristie Flora each had two hits and an RBI. Madyson Price had two hits and a run scored.
Bailey Graham hit a two-run double and had a run scored. Alexus Rennewanz had a hit and RBI. Emily Prentice had a hit, RBI and two runs scored. Mallory Rowe had an RBI single and run scored. Shannon Sink had a single and two runs scored.