LONDON — When North Laurel and South Laurel meet in an elimination game, you can throw away both teams’ records.
The Lady Jaguars entered the contest favored to roll into the semifinals, but the Lady Cardinals had other plans.
And in the end, South Laurel did just enough to stun the 13th Region’s top-ranked team in fine fashion, defeating North Laurel, 7-5, to advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
The Lady Cardinals (19-12) jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and fell behind 4-2 in the bottom of the first before rallying to take a 7-4 advantage into the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Lady Jaguars (31-3) had the top of their order up, but could muster only one run, as senior Emily Sizemore ended her career at North Laurel with a home run.
“Survive and advance. North is a very good team, and we are fortunate to move on to the semis. We just took the same approach as we have all year and just focused on us and what we can control,” South Laurel coach Carly Mink said. “Once again, we continue just trying to get into good counts, be patient, and have productive at-bats.”
Lady Cardinal eighth-grader Kenzie Williams turned in one of her best outings of the season, limiting North Laurel to only three hits and two earned runs. She finished with eight strikeouts.
“When we get a good pitching performance like we did tonight, we have to be able to support her defensively,” Mink said. “Kenzie battled as we expected her to do.”
Offensively, Morgan Jackson’s two-run home run in the top of the fourth tied the game at four apiece. She added a run-scoring single in the top of the sixth to give her team a 5-4 edge while a bases-loaded walk to Skye Lawson pushed South Laurel’s lead to 6-4. Aubree Laster scored on a wild pitch, giving the Lady Cardinals a 7-4 cushion.
Jackson led the way for South Laurel with a 2-for-4 effort while connecting on a home run, driving in three RBI, and scoring once.
Addison Baker was 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Aubree Laster turned in a 2-for-3 effort with three runs scored.
Lawson had two hits and two RBI while Amara Horn finished with a hit and a run scored. Williams also had a hit in the win.
Sizemore finished her final varsity game with a home run, an RBI and two runs scored while Braylee Fawbush finished with a hit and an RBI. Bella Sizemore had a hit and scored once while Ellie Adams scored once.
Emma Carl took the loss, allowing 11 hits and five earned runs while striking out five batters in six innings of work. Reagan Isaac tossed an inning, allowing no hits or runs while striking out two batters.
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