TEUTOPOLIS — When it rains, it pours.

The St. Anthony and Teutopolis regional championship game on Friday night at Teutopolis Junior High School Softball Field had both.

But although rain showered across the diamond for nearly the entire game, it lightened up just in time for the end and a 14-4 victory over the top seed.

The scattered cells didn’t stop the bats from heating up, though.

St. Anthony opened the game with the first run on an Adysen Rios RBI single that scored her sister, Cameran.

The Lady Shoes then answered with four runs in the top of the third amidst the precipitation showering both teams and spectators surrounding the field.

Malea Helmink cleared the bases with a double and Kaylee Niebrugge hit an RBI single to make it a 4-1 game.

But, even with the game on T-Town’s side at that moment, Bulldogs head coach Makayla Taylor knew her team wouldn’t stop believing.

She even referenced the hit Journey song in-between innings.

“Literally, I said, ‘Don’t stop believing,’” Taylor said. “I think that comes back to playing with fire, playing with grit and competing — that’s what it comes down to. They all want to win, no matter what and that’s what makes this team so fun to coach.

“They’re going to compete and that’s what they did. They knew what they had to do. I don’t know how many times we’ve been down this season playing other teams, but they know what to do in those situations.”

St. Anthony scored two runs in the bottom of the third after Lucy Fearday hit an RBI double and Abbi Hatton drew a bases-loaded walk.

Fearday then struck out Estella Mette and Olivia Hemmen to start the fourth.

Erin Althoff then reached on an error, but Fearday regrouped, striking out Summer Wall to end the inning.

The Bulldogs then pounced on the Lady Shoes after that, scoring six runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Hailey Niebrugge hit an RBI double that scored Cameran Rios and Addie Wernsing.

Fearday then drew a walk and Sydney Kibler hit an RBI double to make it 6-4.

Hatton then hit a single that scored Kibler and courtesy runner Nora Gannaway and Stacie Vonderheide followed with an RBI double to make it 9-4.

Fearday then retired the next six batters in a row before St. Anthony won by run rule in the bottom of the sixth. Anna Faber scored on a wild pitch and Cameran Rios hit a single that scored Hatton to make it 11-4.

Wernsing then hit an RBI single and Fearday finished the game with an RBI double that scored Adysen Rios and Wernsing to make the 14-4 final.

“The postseason’s crazy,” Taylor said. “Postseason’s a different type of game. T-Town came out, ready to hit off Lucy, but we just got the job done and that’s the thing, you can’t stop believing in your team and that’s what we did. We got baserunners on, found a way to score.”

They also made Lady Shoes’ hurler Courtney Gibson work, too.

For the second-straight game, Gibson threw over 130 pitches. She finished with 138.

Taylor said that she liked her team’s approach against the senior.

“I think it comes back to quality at-bats,” Taylor said. “Before every single huddle, we talk about three key things and that’s one of them. I want to make her work a little bit because they get tired and with the conditions we’re in, I don’t want them swinging at junk and I want them to be more selective up there.”

St. Anthony now advances to the sectional semifinals at Unity High School in Tolono on Tuesday against Bloomington (Central Catholic) at 4:30 p.m. The Saints defeated Normal (University) in its regional championship game, 3-2.

Contact EDN Sports Editor

Alex Wallner at alex.wallner@effinghamdailynews.com.

Trending Video