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Lady Tigers headed to Championship Game

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Lady Tigers going to the Championship Game

Rising Sun dominated at the plate and from the circle from the outset of their MPSSAA 2A State Semifinal matchup against Century High School. Lady Tiger junior ace Cadence Williams kept the bats on the shoulders of the Knights, striking out the side to open the game, and Jordan Lynch drove in all the runs the her team would need with a home run in the bottom of the inning. Rising Sun took the momentum of the opening frame and rode it to an 8-0 win and a return trip to College Park for a chance at a state title.

Rising Sun set the tone of the game in the first inning.  Williams walked the first batter on a full count.  The next two batters Williams would strike out swinging before walking Catcher Emma Zuckerman batting fourth in the Knights lineup.  The courtesy runner sent in for the catcher would quickly realize that you have to watch out for the arm of Rising Sun Catcher Bri Cole as Cole picked off the runner at first ending the inning.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to an early lead when Jordan Lynch, batting second in the order, hit a homerun scoring Sam Dixon who had just singled on a line drive to left field.  Two batters into the lineup and Rising Sun was already on top 2-0.

Faith McCullough would ground out before Knights’ Pitcher Hannah Zabik could strike out two and get out of the inning.

Williams would get the Tigers bats back to work quickly after retiring the first three Century batters of the second inning with a pop out and two strikeouts.

It’s the bottom of the second inning and Century is starting to look like they may be settling in as Zabik strikes out the first two batters.  With 2 outs, Rising Sun is now at the bottom of their batting order with Senior Grace Boyd coming to the plate in the ninth spot on the lineup.  It would take Zabik five pitches to get to a 2-2 count on Boyd before Boyd hits her second solo homerun of the playoff tournament with a shot to left field.  Sam Dixon starts the top of the lineup and pops out to third base to end the inning with Rising Sun ahead 3-0.

Williams would retire the next three Knights batters to quickly put the Tigers back at the plate with Jordan Lynch to start off the bottom of the third.  Zabik would have her best inning of the game in the third only giving up one hit and striking out two before Williams would pop out in foul territory by first base.  This would be the only inning of the game where Rising Sun didn’t add a run to their score.

Williams would again move quickly through the Knights lineup to retire the side. After four batters the Tigers were once again at the plate and would have their highest scoring inning of the game in the fourth inning.

With one out, Catherine Meadows doubles on a fly ball to center field to get on second base and bring Jayden Simpkins to the plate.  After one ball and one strike looking Jayden takes the third pitch and sends it out of the park over centerfield for her first homerun of the year, scoring Meadows from second and giving the Lady Tigers a 5-0 lead.

Grace Boyd would get on base with ground ball to centerfield and Sam Dixon would pop out to centerfield for the second out of the inning.  With Boyd on first, Jordan Lynch hits a hard ground ball to centerfielder Maddy Sitarek.  An error on the play would advance Lynch to second and score Boyd from third now giving the Lady Tigers a 6-0 lead over the Century Knights.

Zabik would get out of the inning when Bri Cole lines out to left field limiting the damage to three runs by the Lady Tigers in the fourth inning.

The Knights needed to get things turned around in the fifth but it was not to be as the first three Knights all ground out in the infield.

The bottom of the fifth for the Tigers would start out with Faith McCullough getting on base with a single to centerfield.  Williams would be walked next moving McCullough to second and Madison Nolan would come in as the courtesy runner for Williams.  Abby McBride grounds into a fielders choice and McCullough is out advancing to third with Nolan now on second and McBride at first.

Catherine Meadows hits a ground ball into centerfield scoring Nolan from second.  Meadows advances to second and McBride to third on the throw from centerfield.  Zabik strikes out two to end the inning but Rising Sun has added one this inning to make the score now 7-0.

The Century Knights are finally able to get a runner on base in the sixth inning.  With two outs, Aly Loschen and Zabik are both able to get singles to get on base.  Loschen on second and Zabik on first, Zuckerman strikes out swinging after walking twice earlier in the game.  The inning ends with runners  stranded on base.

Bottom of the sixth and the Tigers are up 7-0.  The Tigers supporters are excited as Sam Dixon gets on base with a ground ball to left field followed by Lynch getting on base after hitting a ground ball and an error at first base.  The error moves Lynch to second and Dixon to third as Bri Cole comes to the plate.  Cole is walked to load the bases bringing up McCullough with the bases loaded and no outs.

McCullough hits a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Dixon from third and runners holding up at first and second.  Williams singles on a fly ball to right field and once again the bases are loaded with 1 out as McBride comes to the plate.  Zabik is able to escape the inning with a strike out on McBride and Meadows grounds out to Zabik ending the inning with the bases loaded.

The Knights go into the top of the seventh with the daunting task of needing to make up 8 runs to keep their season going.  The Knights get a runner on first because of an error on a ground ball to second but it won’t be enough as Williams still has enough gas in the tank to strike out the next three batters and crush the dreams of the Knights championship run.

Williams pitched the entire game for the Tigers, allowing zero runs on two hits and striking out 11.

Hannah Zabik was in the cirlce for the Knights. Zabik lasted six innings, allowing 13 hits and eight runs while striking out ten.

The Lady Tigers are now on the way to the Championship Game for the first time since winning the title in 2003.  Rising Sun was won the State Championship in 1983, 1984, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2003.

Sophomore Jordan Lynch will have her first chance at a Championship Ring this Friday Night in College Park.  Jordan’s mother Renie (Mitchell) Lynch was a Senior and a member of the Rising Sun Championship Team in 1997.  The pitcher for that ’97 Rising Sun Tigers Championship Team was Susan (Dugan) Penta.  We all call her Coach Penta now as she is currently coaching at Bohemia Manor High School.  She is the Mother of 3x State Champion and current Auburn Pitcher, Maddie Penta.  Her daughter Mariah currently plays for the High School Team.

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