6th Inning Rally Rockets Hornets To Victory In Semi-Finals 12-2; Sectional Finals Kick Off Tonight At 6 p.m.

Hornets celebrate a win against South Newton to secure their road to the Sectional finals.
– Photo courtesy of Rossville Hornet Softball

The Rossville Hornets soared above the South Newton Rebels to secure their place in the Sectional Championship against the Clinton Central Bulldogs.

The Rebels and Hornets started the game strong with scores in both halves of the inning, but the Hornets would pick up steam in the fifth inning to ensure the Rebels had no chances of closing the gap.

The Rebels began the game with a strikeout, but as the second batter stepped to the plate, she was hit by the pitch to advance to first before a passed ball allowed her to move safely to second. A double to left field allowed the Rebels to rush home, and a dropped ball at the plate secured the first run of the game. Two strikeouts ended the inning as the Hornets took to the plate for the bottom of the first inning trailing 0 to 1.

The Hornets quickly found their footing within the box, beginning with a double to the fence in left field. A groundball that slipped past the third baseman drove in a run for the Hornets and placed another Hornet on second, tying the game. A passed ball allowed for a steal to third that put the Hornets in perfect scoring position. A hit to right field resulted in a snag by the Rebels and the first out, but a tag at third resulted in the Hornets racing against the throw to score, allowing the Hornets to take the lead 2 to 1. A hop shot to the ground jumped into the outfield for a single, and a walk put two Hornets on base, but a caught ball in centerfield thrown to second base resulted in a double play to end the inning.

The Hornets would hold the Rebels to their singular run until the sixth inning while racking up a few runs of their own.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Hornets led off with a single to left that fell in the gap, but an overthrow to the mound saw the Hornets steal second, turning a single into a sliding double. A hit to short stop garnered one out at first, but a slide into third put the Hornets into scoring position with only one out. A pop fly to centerfield saw another out on the board, but a tag and slide mixed with a dropped ball at the plate saw the Hornets pull further ahead with a score of 3 to 1 to round out the second inning after a groundball to the pitcher led to an out at first.

Both teams’ defense was working overtime in the third inning, allowing zero runs for either side. The Hornets started off with a pop fly to left field before a pop fly to left-centerfield that found the gap saw the Hornets rack up their second out in an attempt at a double that resulted in a tag, and a pop fly to right-centerfield saw a snag by the outfielders, keeping the score 3 to 1 heading into the fourth inning where the Rebels were once again held to zero additional runs.

The bottom of the fourth began with a pop fly to the fence that was snagged by centerfield, but the Hornets did not lose their momentum. A shot to centerfield fell just short of the glove for a single, which was followed by a walk to land two Hornets on base. A shot to the short stop was stopped in its tracks with a catch for the second out. A smack to left field saw the Hornets rake in another run before a groundball to the mound turned over the inning with an out at first. Heading into the fifth inning, the Rebels were held to zero additional runs once again, leaving the score at 4 to 1 in favor of the Hornets heading into the bottom of the fifth where the game turned on its head.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Hornets would start out with a pop fly catch to right-centerfield, but a rally was stirring. A hard shot through the glove of third base saw a single, and a shot to left placed two Hornets on base. A passed ball moved the Hornets to second and third, placing them in a scoring position to start the rapid gap increase in score. A shot to the mound saw a check on third, causing hesitation that resulted in an overthrow to first, scoring both runners and sending the batter to second as the Hornets pulled ahead 6 to 1. A hard shot to centerfield would see another run scored as a throw home resulted in a triple for the Hornets, extending the lead to 7 to 1. A foul ball pop fly saw the entirety of the Rebels rush to secure the catch, leaving home plate wide open as a tag and sprint to the plate racked up another run, leading the Hornets to a commanding lead of 8 to 1, but the Hornets were not finished with their rally. With two outs and bases clear, a single to centerfield put the Hornets back on the bases. A shot above the pitcher and an overthrow to first saw the Hornets drive in another run, going from first to home due to the error that culminated in a dropped ball at the plate and an extended lead of 9 to 1. A hard shot past third drove home another run for a lead of 10 to 1, and a single to the hole in the green in left field promised to keep the rally going. A pop fly to left-centerfield ended the ending with the Hornets racking up six runs in the rally and two runners left on base, and the Hornets were one run away from taking the game.

A dropped third strike allowed for the Rebels to place two runners on the points of the diamond to threaten the Hornets defense in the top of the sixth. A “bobble” of the ball at short stop ran in one run for the Rebels and placed runners on second and first, but the Hornets held strong. Two back-to-back strikeouts and a force out at second on a grounder sent the Hornets into the bottom of the sixth inning where they would take it home.

A “bobble” at third led to a single, and a risky steal and dive into second saw the Hornets move into scoring position. An infield pop fly put one out on the board for the Hornets, but the rally was just heating up with a following dropped infield pop fly that placed the Hornets on second and first, putting the winning run on first. A dropped ball for the force out at second saw the Hornets send it home, but the throw was too strong and saw the second out of the inning at home plate. During the play, the Hornets reloaded the bases at third and second with the winning run positioned in a scoring position. A grounder to short stop and a quick throw was not fast enough for the out at first, which saw the Hornets score once more, leading the Hornets to only have to score once more to win the game with a score of 11 to 2 and a runner on third with two outs.

With a shot to centerfield that just missed the glove, the Hornets drove in the final run, winning in only six innings with a score of 12 to 2.

The Hornets will take on the Clinton Central Bulldogs tonight, Wednesday, May 22 for the Sectional Champion title at 6 p.m. at Rossville.

Rossville Hornets Stats:

Finley Gibson: 2-4, RBI, 2 BB

Addi Gorbett: 2-4, RBI

Megan McDonald: 2 RBI

Autumn Paschal: 2-3, RBI

Caydence Robey: 2-4, RBI

Reyna St. Myer: 1-4, 2 RBI