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BUTLER—After years of waiting for a sectional title at Adams Central, coach Cary Blake now has two in a row as the Lady Jets held on for dear life against a fiery Eastside squad in eight innings, 4-2.
In the top of the eighth inning, nine-hole batter Mary Fox stroked a double to the fence scoring the speedy frosh, Kara Keller, from first after she beat out an infield single in the at-bat before making it 3-2 AC in the extra frame. A difficult pop-fly behind second base was misplayed by the Blazers and the senior Fox trotted home for the insurance run.
When the bottom half came around, Sydnee Peterson allowed a walk to the lead-off batter but buckled down to get a pop-fly and then two straight K's in a gutsy effort by the Jets to earn the sectional crown.
The host school Blazers played gracious host after a flash flood overtook the field in a 90-minute rain delay. The grounds crew worked feverishly to bring play back to the field after it suspended in the fifth inning.
The Lady Jets held a 1-0 edge at the time of the rain and the contest's pace and feel did not change when the sun returned as both squads were led by outstanding pitching.
In the semi-final game against Bluffton, AC crawled back from the depths down 7-0 after two innings to win the game 10-7. Peterson lasted just 1.1 innings in a nightmare start. The championship game, however, was a different story.
"You always think about the mind games after a game like that," coach Blake explained. "Sydnee has been through the war before. She's been through games where batters just destroyed her but as I say to the whole team when we make a mistake, just put it behind us."
Eastside finally got on the board against the Jets in the sixth when Kailen Beery reached first on an infield single. After a pair of strikeouts, Madalyn Minehart stroked her only hit of the game, a single, laced down the third base line scoring Beery from second.