After a 11-10 win over the No. 1 seeded Augusta Orioles, the Andover Central softball team is headed back to the 4A-I state tournament for the second consecutive season.
The tournament was moved from El Dorado to Andover Central due to poor field conditions caused by rain at El Dorado’s East Park. This led to the Jaguars winning a regional title on their home field for the second straight season.
The No. 1 seeded Augusta Orioles had lost just one game all season prior to the regional tournament, but that did not intimidate the Jaguars.
Augusta was the first to score, thanks to an Andover Central error to score Morgan Pennycuff.
Trailing 1-0 after the first inning, Central exploded for four runs in the top of the second inning. Amanda Dodds and Morgan Herrmann drove in runs for the Jaguars in the second inning, before Taylor Wolf scored on a passed ball to make it 4-1.
Dodds drove in another run in the top of the third to make its 5-1. Augusta responded in the bottom the inning, scoring four runs to tie the game at 5. With two outs, Jadyn Jackson doubled to score two runs. Ashlyn Bowen followed with a double to score two more runs.
Augusta took the lead in the bottom of the next inning with three runs to go up 8-5 thanks to RBI’s from Sophie Johnston and Gracie Johnston.
After Central cut Augusta’s lead to one, Oriole senior Madison Wheeler crushed a two-run home run to put Augusta back up by three.
In the top of the sixth, Andover Central’s Amanda Dodds singled to score two more runs and cut Augusta’s lead back to one.
Heading to the final inning, the Jaguars trailed by one. Errors plagued the Orioles in the final inning. Central’s Morgan Herrmann reached base on a dropped third strike, and then was able to score on an Augusta error in the outfield.
With the game tied at 10, Katie Boline drew a walk to give Central an 11-10 lead.
The Orioles were able to get a runner in scoring position with one out, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity as the Jaguars were able to escape with an 11-10 win.
Last year, the Jaguars fell to Piper in the first round of the 4A-I state tournament by a score of 6-2.
This year, the Jaguars will compete at Trusler Sports Complex in Emporia on May 24-25, with their opponent to be determined.