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BROOKVILLE — Trailing Bloomington South by two runs and having managed only one hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh Monday night, it looked like the Columbus North softball team would go quietly into the southeastern Indiana night.
The Bull Dogs had other ideas.
North put together three consecutive hits to tie the game and sent the first-round East Central Class 4A Sectional contest to extra innings. But the Panthers scored in the top of the 10th inning to pull out a 3-2 win and end North’s season.
Bloomington South (17-8) advances to play host East Central in the semifinals at 6 p.m. today. Columbus East will meet Bloomington North at 8 p.m.
Pitcher Molly Crowe started the Bull Dogs’ seventh-inning rally with a single. Bull Dog shortstop Katie Prall followed with a single. Both runners then scored when Shelby Lucas lifted a fly ball to left field that was misjudged into a double.
North had a runner thrown out at the plate with one out in the eighth inning. Then, with one out in the top of the ninth, Prall threw to Lucas at the plate to erase Lauren Noble, who had reached on a dropped third strike and taken third on an error.
In the 10th, Bloomington South’s Mena Fulton led off with a walk, went to second on a ground out and took third when Maggie Hopkins reached on an infield single and the throw eluded the first baseman.
With two out, Ashlie Egan delivered a single for the game-winning run.
After giving up a pair of home runs to Fulton in a one-run regular-season loss, North was determined not to let Fulton beat the Bull Dogs again Monday. After Fulton drew her second intentional walk of the game to load the bases with two out in the fifth, Whitney Ennis delivered a two-run single to right-center.
Bloomington South’s Lauren Noble led off the fifth by reaching on an error, but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Ali Sexton, who was then erased on another fielder’s choice by Elizabeth Getz. Getz stole second and went to third on a single by Hannah Wright. That set the stage for the intentional pass to Fulton and the hit by Ennis.
The Bull Dogs had a scoring chance in the fourth. Denisa Brooks led off with a walk and went to second on a sacrifice by Christine Bombardiere. Michelle Litchfield drew a two-out walk, and after Brooks stole third, Tommi Stowers lined out to second.
Crowe finished with 10 strikeouts.
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