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6A-8 district softball: Alonso breaks through; Plant refuses to fold

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Tue. April 19, 2011 | Steve Lee

BLOOMINGDALE — The adage about it being tough to defeat an opponent three times rang true in the second game of Tuesday’s Class 6A-8 tournament at Bloomingdale, which beat Alonso twice during the regular season.

The Ravens won when it counted most, coming out on top in a 10-7 slugfest against the host Bulls. In Tuesday’s other semifinal, Plant rallied for a 6-5 comeback win over Wharton. That sets up Thursday’s championship game at 7 p.m. between No. 3 Alonso and top-seeded Plant.

“The kids were up,” Alonso coach Robin Kopp said. “They were focused. If you put the ball in play you’re going to score runs.”

Alonso broke open a scoreless game with four runs in the top of the third, but Bloomingdale countered with three in the bottom of that inning. The Ravens put up four more in the fourth then held the Bulls scoreless in the bottom of that frame.

Erika Shick, the winning pitcher, and Courtney Smithgall each drove in three runs for Alonso. Shick, who doubled and singled, also scored twice while Smithgall went 3-for-4.

Leadoff batter K.J. Johnson also fueled the Ravens’ high-powered offense by going 3-for-5 and scoring three times.

Trailing 10-3, Bloomingdale made it closer with a four-run fifth highlighted by Darby Bernaldo’s two-run single and McKenzie Carter’s RBI single.

Katie Marion chipped in for the Bulls with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI.

In the first game, Wharton built leads of 3-0 and 5-2 but could not hang on.

Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Plant’s late rally was fueled by Kaitlyn Steckel’s RBI single and Victoria Romaine’s two-run single that ended the game.

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