Effingham Daily News
---- — WINDSOR -- The Windsor Blue Devils had seen this play out before against St. Anthony.In the game between the two schools last month, Windsor jumped out to a pair of early leads only to see them slip away in a loss. So when the Blue Devils' 6-0 lead in the fourth inning evaporated to a 6-4 lead, they took matters into their own hands and bashed their way to an 11-5 win and their first-ever appearance in the NTC title game.The bats were on display all day, from the top of the lineup with Dani Bell and Lindsay Floyd, to the ninth hitter Bayleigh Tabor."We played one of the best games we've played all year," said Windsor coach Brian Lee. "Physically, we know we can play with St. Anthony, now mentally we've got to go out and get the job done. Finally, we did."The second-seeded Blue Devils will advance to play either Altamont or Stew-Stras. Half of the NTC games were rained out Friday, leaving the other semifinal to be played Monday and the title game being pushed to Tuesday.Windsor (11-6) used patience early, drawing five walks in the first three innings on its way to six runs. Maggie Reed had an RBI single in the first inning, but the Blue Devils left the bases loaded. Whitney Kuhl drove in a run in the second with a bloop single to put Windsor up 2-0.But the third inning was the big inning. Tabor, Bell and Floyd all had RBI singles off Meghan Woltman and Makayla Walsh, and Bell made it 6-0 with a steal of home. She briefly left the game with an injury but returned. St. Anthony responded with four in the fourth, benefitting from two Windsor errors. Paige Koester reached on an error, and scored on a Morgan Gardewine infield single with a throwing error. From there, Walsh drove in a run with an RBI single, Kate Richards had an RBI double and Woltman drove in a run to make it 6-4. Windsor squashed the comeback in their half half of the fourth. The Devils drew three walks, the last being a Tabor bases-loaded walk to score a run. Floyd and Kuhl each had two-run singles after that, pushing the lead to 11-4. "We got five runs, that should be enough to win a game," said St. Anthony coach Crystal Tipton. "But when you have eight walks and three errors, that's not going to produce a win against a team like this."The Bulldogs didn't threaten again, scoring its lone other run in the seventh on a Megan Nuxoll double. Woltman took the loss, going 2.2 innings and allowing six runs on seven hits. Walsh allowed five runs in relief, finishing the other 3.1 innings.Nuxoll went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Walsh, Richards and Woltman all went 1-for-3 with an RBI, and D.J. Brummer went 1-for-3 as well."We're going to see them again," Tipton said. "They're a good team, but we play our game and I think we can come out and beat them. The girls need to know we've already beat them and keep our heads high."Floyd got the win for the Blue Devils, pitching a complete game and allowing four runs in the process. She allowed six hits and struck out four.Bell was 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and the steal of home. Kuhl was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a two walks, Floyd was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Tabor drove in two and Kassy Strowmatt walked three times. "Today, everybody came ready to play," Lee said. "When we needed a base hit, someone came through. The girls seemed to turn it on."St. Anthony (10-7) will play the loser of Altamont/Stew-Stras Tuesday, and the site will depend on who wins. Windsor will look for its first-ever conference crown on Tuesday at Beecehr City High School, against the Indians or the Comets.
St. Anthony 000 400 1 5 7 3Windsor 114 500 X 11 12 2WP - Floyd LP - Woltman
St. Anthony: Koester (0-3, SB, R); Gardewine (1-3); Walsh (1-3, RBI); Richards (1-3, 2B, RBI); Woltman (1B, RBI); Brummer (1-3); Nuxoll (2-3, 2B, RBI)Windsor: Bell (3-5, 2B, RBI, SB); Floyd (3-4, 3 RBI); Kuhl (3-3, 3 RBI, 2 BB), Reed (1-5, RBI); Strowmatt (0-1, 3 BB); Bailey (1-4); Bridges (1-3, BB); Tabor (1-3, 2 RBI)