SENECA — It was a tough task indeed for the Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell softball squad.
Facing one of the best pitchers in the state in Reed Custer senior hurler Antoinette Hill — who is headed for Purdue University next fall — the No. 5-seeded Warriors could never dent the DI signee falling to the Lady Comets 3-0 during the nightcap of the Seneca Class 2A Regional semifinals here Tuesday evening.
Hill faced only three batters over the minimum of 21, allowing a mere infield single off the bat of Audrey Jenkins in the first and a booming double from Elise Kane in the sixth. Kane also reached on an error in the fourth, but Hill proved masterful in the circle other than that by striking out 10 and walking none and ending the WFC campaign with a very respectable 17-10 record.
Reed Custer (13-11) now advances to take on No. 1-seeded Seneca — also a winner on Tuesday — in Saturday's 2A regional championship contest set for an 11 a.m. first pitch back at Seneca after Hill's dominant effort in the circle.
"She (Hill) had really great stuff and we tried to simulate what we'd seen from her throughout practices entering this game but unfortunately a pitching machine can't duplicate what we saw from her today," said WFC veteran coach Jordan Farris. "I've got to give credit to her because she threw one heck of a game. We put the ball in play a couple of time but other than that we had nothing behind the two hits we ultimately got against her. I thought August Gillman (6 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 5 BB, 4 K) pitched well even though she lost a battle with a tremendous talent that's probably going to be very tough at the DI level. But I couldn't be prouder of our girls effort today."
The Lady Comets got to Gillman for a single run in the bottom of the second after an RBI single from Sylvia Crater (2-for-3).
One more would follow in the last half of the third after Hill smoked a Gillman offering for a line-drive home run only inches over the center field fence to put Reed Custer up 2-0.
Kelsi Dillon (2-for-3) opened the bottom of the sixth with a triple to right and scored immediately after Crater doubled to left that put the Lady Comets ahead 3-0.
"We got a few timely hits that put us in front late in the ballgame," said RCHS first year coach Taylor Gunier. "Then we turned to Antoinette in the seventh to close things out which she did. It was a great recipe for a win today and she's been on her game recently in the circle. Today was no exception and she closed things out pretty easily in the seventh and now we've got a very tough Seneca team on Saturday in the regional championship game after a hard battle today with Woodland."
"Despite the loss today I thought it was a very good season for us," Farris said. "We're going to miss some players that will graduate but it will be a next girl up mentality going into 2020 and I'm excited about the way our program is going and the girls that are coming back next year."
Reed Custer 3, Woodland/Flanagan-Cornell 0
WFC (0) — Kane lf 3-0-1-0, Jenkins ss 3-0-1-0, Friese 3b 3-0-0-0, Sibert c 3-0-0-0, Plesko 1b 2-0-0-0, Gillman p 2-0-0-0, Ja. Easton 2b 2-0-0-0, Osterdock dp 2-0-0-0, Je. Easton rf 2-0-0-0, Walter 2b 0-0-0-0. Totals 22-0-2-0.
REED CUSTER (3) — Faletti ss 2-0-0-0, Ricketts cf 4-0-1-0, Hill p 2-1-1-1, Smith cr 0-0-0-0, Kmetz 1b 3-0-0-0, Dillon c 2-2-2-0, Thompson 2b 1-0-1-1, Crater dp 3-0-2-1, Cieslak rf 3-0-0-0, Coster 3b 3-0-1-0, Shaw lf 0-0-0-0. Totals 23-3-8-3.
WFC (17-10) 000 000 0 — 0 2 0
Reed Custer (13-11) 011 001 x — 3 8 1
LOB — WFC 1; RC 8. 2B — Kane, Ricketts, Thompson, Crater. 3B — Dillon. HR — Hill. SB — Jenkins. CS — Jenkins, Dillon. SAC — Thompson.
WFC ip r er h bb k
Gillman (L) 6.0 3 3 8 5 4
Hill (W, 13-10) 7.0 0 0 2 0 10