The No. 1 seeded Cardinals, ranked No. 6 in the state, dispatched No. 8 seed Osseo-Fairchild 10-4 although it took into the latter innings to finally break the contest open.
"I think we do wear teams down," PHS head coach Matt Smith said. "Sometimes it takes a while to figure out a pitcher and their pitcher did a good job keeping us off-balance. But so long as we make our opponents earn every run, give up nothing easy, and play aggressively on the basepaths, eventually the hits will come and we'll take advantage of it."
Wednesday's regional semifinal contest marked the return of senior pitcher Kaili Wescott. She had been out for over a week after suffering a concussion during the Cards' contest at Baldwin-Woodville back on May 14. While shaky at first (The first three Thunder batters got hits and took a 2-0 lead) Wescott struck-out the next three O-F batters and was in control for the rest of contest.
"It took a while to get going but so long as I knew I had my teammates and coaches backing me and encouraging me I kept my confidence up," Wescott said. "Getting a couple of hits helped a lot too."
Indeed, Wescott nailed an RBI-single in the first inning for Prescott's first runs and drove in another run in the third to put the Redbirds in front for the first time and one more in the fifth on a single to make the score 5-3 and finally walloping an RBI-triple in the sixth to make the score 9-4.
"When you've been away for a while the thing which takes the longest to get back is your timing," Smith said. "Once she did and started having success, strikeouts and hits, she could just play not worry."
Other big run scoring hits for PHS came from Sydney Matzek, an RBI-single in the third (4-2), Isabella Lenz, RBI-single in the fifth (7-4) and Kaelyn Lewis, RBI-triple in the sixth (10-4).
PHS, 19-3 overall, advances to Friday's regional championship game against No. 4 seed Neillsville/Granton. The Wardogs, 14-6 overall, were a 5-1 winner over No. 5 seed Stratford yesterday. The game has been scheduled for 5 p.m. at Biggs Field.
|Prescott's Kaili Wescott and Kaelyn Lewis make a join-catch on a pop fly during yesterday's regional semifinal game|