Mendota’s Alex Barrera just gets into second base with a steal before Princeton’s Lexee Camp can apply the tag during regional action on May 15 at the MHS diamond. (Reporter photo)
MENDOTA – Mendota managed to overcome a shoddy defensive effort to down Princeton, 8-6, in the opening round of the Prophetstown Class 2A Regional Softball Tournament on May 15 at the MHS field.
The Lady Trojans advanced to the semifinals where they were scheduled to play top-seeded Morrison on Tuesday in Prophetstown. The regional championship game is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20.
Mendota committed four critical errors that led to five unearned runs for Princeton. But the Lady Trojan bats banged out 14 hits and that was enough to overcome their defensive shortcomings.
Mendota opened the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the second. Reiss Buettner reached on an error to lead off the inning and Hope McDowell was safe on a bunt single. A ground out by Eve Herbert moved each runner up a base and then Kathryn McNally delivered a two-run single. Larkin O’Donnell followed with a single to drive in McNally.
Princeton scored a pair of unearned runs in the third, then Mendota responded with another three-run uprising in the bottom of the frame. Morgan Marquis started the inning with a single and came all the way around to score on stolen bases. Ryann Avery singled, and one out later, Buettner produced an RBI single. McDowell singled to keep the inning alive, and then with two outs, a single off the bat of McNally drove in the third tally of the inning.
Mendota added some insurance in the fourth when Alex Barrera led off with a bunt single, stole second and scored on a single by Avery.
Princeton closed the gap with three more unearned runs in the top of the fifth.
Mendota completed its scoring in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Herbert and an RBI single by Alex Barrera to give the Lady Trojans an 8-5 lead heading to the seventh.
The first two Princeton batters reached on singles, then after a strikeout, another single produced a run to make it 8-6. But Mendota pitcher Rylee Klema got a ground out and a strikeout to preserve the win.
Klema gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out 14 in the route-going performance.
Avery, Buettner, McDowell, McNally and Alex Barrera each had two hits for Mendota, which improved to 16-14 on the season.