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Edgewood slips past West Vigo 3-2 in softball sectional

All postseason losses hurt in high school sports. West Vigo’s softball team, however, suffered a bit more on the hurt scale than some teams do.

The Vikings made few mistakes in Tuesday’s Class 3A Owen Valley Sectional semifinal against Edgewood, but the Mustangs made more of their chances than the Vikings did as Edgewood prevailed 3-2.

Both teams had eight hits and both reached base via their fair share of walks and other means, but the top of Edgewood’s order proved decisive for the Mustangs.

Second hitter Ally Bland was 4-for-4, including a RBI triple in the fourth inning that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game. Edgewood leadoff hitter Piper Stevens was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Third hitter Madi Bland was 1-for-3 with a walk.

What hurt most for West Vigo? Much of that production came with two outs, including the triple and all three Edgewood runs.

West Vigo starting pitcher Jaleigh Lindley was solid despite the production at the top of the Edgewood order. She struck out nine Mustangs.

West Vigo probably hit the ball harder too. While Edgewood played its small ball game well, the Vikings got a home run from Janelle Sullivan and several more hard-hit singles. Unfortunately, many of those runners were left stranded. The Vikings left eight on-base.

“It’s a tough loss, man. We were right there a couple of times. We left too many on-base. If you don’t hit the ball, you don’t score,” West Vigo coach Chris Nidiffer said.

Both teams squandered chances to break through in the first two innings, but Edgewood got some help to break the ice in the third inning.

After three straight bunt singles, Lindley got two outs without damage, but then threw a wild pitch. West Vigo catcher Annabel Coulston had a chance to throw to get the runner at the plate, but the throw sailed wide. Two runs scored on the play to make it 2-0 Edgewood

West Vigo answered in the top of the fourth as Carlea Funk singled home Piper Beeler to make it 2-1. Ally Bland’s triple in the bottom of the frame made it 3-1.

In the final two-and-a-half innings, each team had chances. West Vigo’s Sullivan’s home run in the sixth was a no-doubter as she drilled an Ally Bland offering over the center field fence. Lindley was tough on the mound and kept the Vikings within a run.

Lindley also singled in the seventh. With two outs, she was on second base when pinch hitter Lily Krause was inserted. Krause very nearly gave West Vigo a dramatic come-from-behind home run, but her deep ball was caught at the wall and West Vigo’s season came to an end.

The Vikings finished 17-11 on a team consisting of five seniors. It was a good season, but Nidiffer took little solace in it.

“It’s tough. We’re losing five seniors. We’ll only have one senior unless more come out,” Nidiffer said. “Any time you have a winning season, it’s good, but it’s all for naught at the end of the season if you fall short. It’s nothing more than a record.”

Edgewood moved on to play Owen Valley in the sectional championship game.