Rock Creek softball won a pair of do-or-die contests Monday to advance to the regional championship game.
In Game 1, Rock Creek outlasted Riley County 4-2 in 11 innings at Nemaha Central High School in Seneca.
With the contest scoreless through eight innings, Rock Creek pushed two runs across the plate in the top of the ninth.
Brooklyn Goehring broke the drought with a single, coming around to score on an RBI double from Miranda Tegtmeier. Kierra Mosby also doubled, going on to score on an RBI single from Sydney Montgomery.
But Riley County responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring a pair of runs to extend the contest.
The Mustangs edged back ahead in the top of the 11th.
Laney Scott singled to score Kara Riffle, who entered the game as a courtesy runner for Sophia Haverkamp. Goehring brought home Brooklynn McCormick for the second and final run of the frame, which doubled as the last run of the contest.
Haverkamp earned the win in the circle for the Mustangs, surrendering two runs on nine hits over 11 innings. She struck out 12 Riley County batters and didn’t permit a walk.
The Mustangs finished with 13 hits, as Goehring, Montgomery, Mosby, Scott, and Tegtmeier all had multiple base knocks. Scott led Rock Creek, going 3-for-6 at the plate.
“Our pitching from Sophia, our defense, our resilience and resolve were impressive from start to finish in this game,” Rock Creek head coach Jeri Brummett said. “This game provided many gut checks for us, and we responded each and every time until the last out of the game.”
That win propelled Rock Creek into a semifinal matchup against host Nemaha Central.
The Mustangs gave up three runs in the seventh inning, but still went on to win 8-5.
Rock Creek drew first blood, with Mosby hitting a solo home run in the second inning. The Mustangs added four more runs in the fourth frame, with Mosby and Tegtmeier coming up with RBIs.
Haverkamp was credited as the winning pitcher for the second time in as many games, going 6 2/3 innings. She allowed four runs on six hits and struck out eight. Tegtmeier threw 1/3 inning in relief.
Rock Creek hit three homers in the contest. Mosby homered in the second and fourth innings while Scott had one in the sixth.
The Mustangs collected nine hits overall. Tegtmeier, Mosby, and Scott collected two each. Rock Creek had a strong performance defensively, not committing a single error.
"We performed at the highest levels when that was exactly what was required of us," Brummett said. "The team that played today is the team we know we can be."
Rock Creek now looks ahead to the regional title game against top-seeded St Marys on Wednesday.
First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. in Seneca.