After missing a chance to earn a walk-off victory in the seventh inning, it appeared as though the Port Edwards softball team let a golden opportunity slip through its fingers.
But in the eighth inning the team didn’t let the opportunity pass.
With two runners on base and just one out, the No. 4 seed Blackhawks got the timely hit they needed off the bat of Lexi Schraederto rally past fifth-seeded Pittsville 11-10 on Thursday night at Ripple Creek Park in a WIAA Division 4 Regional quarterfinal game.
Port will now travel to face top-seeded Almond-Bancroft on Tuesday. The Blackhawks fell to the Eagles 13-1 earlier in the season.
Braylyn Stewart-LaViolette scored the winning run after Schraeder’s hit tranged just over the glove of a Pittsville outfielder.
Stewart-LaViolette reached on a one-out single, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch and Schraeder followed with a ringing single.
“I was just looking for a pitch down the middle of the plate,” Schraeder said. “I knew I had a good hit when it didn’t feel like I hit anything.”
For the game, Schraeder finished with a pair of hits, scored a run and batted in another, while Stewart-LaViolette scored three times.
“I was just watching the ball and got my timing down,” Stewart-LaViolette said. “We all hit well tonight, and it gives us a lot of confidence moving on.”
The teams combined for 28 hits, but early on it appeared as though the Blackhawks were going to run away with the game.
Port jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the second inning, but Pittsville quickly responded.
The Panthers answered with seven runs in the top of the third, powered by a two-run home run to center field by Carly Solatycki to take a 7-6 lead. They would extend the lead to 8-6 after the fourth inning when Solatycki was knocked home on a single by Sarah Schmitz, but Port Edwards had a response.
The Blackhawks scored twice in the fifth, as Bryce Smith and Jordyn Kohlbeck accounted for the runs.
For the game, Port scored four runs on wild pitches with Pittsville pitchers racking up 13 wild pitches.
“Those are the things that hurt you,” Pittsville co-head coach Dan Hoffa said. “As many Pass balls and wild pitches that we had will never help you.”
WP: Bryce Smith. LP: Steph Kohl. HR- PI: Carly Solatycki. 2B: PI: Solatycki, Sarah Schmitz; PE: Jordyn Schraeder.
Records: Port Edwards 5-9; Pittsville 3-7.