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Lady Stars continue sectional prep

May 12—DOVER — The Western Boone softball team is doing everything they can to make sure they are ready for sectional play.

So hosting a quality 4A opponent in Lawrence North was a big late season test that would help get the Stars in the right mindset for the post-season.

They were able to get the looks they were looking for in the two games, losing a 6-5 extra-inning game in game one, before bouncing back to win game two 7-1.

"I was coming in here hoping for a split, because Lawrence North is a quality 4A program," Western Boone head coach Mike Vanderpool said. "It was though in the first game, we had some mistakes that cost us, but to bounce back the way we did in game two was great. I am proud of the team."

Vanderpool said having the close competitive games is what is going to get the Stars in the mindset they need to be in heading into the post-season, where every play is magnified a little bit.

"It's really going to help us out," Vanderpool said. "Playing them twice today, after a busy week, it is going to prepare us. Especially putting that first game behind us and hitting batter in the second."

The Stars led 5-4 after six innings in the first game, getting a bases-loaded walk to Gabby Lewis and a 2-run error during a three-run sixth inning.

But the Wildcats got an unearned run on a passed ball in the seventh, then added another run in the eighth to win it.

Game two was also close for most of the game.

The game was tied at one heading to the bottom of the fourth.

With two on and one out, Emma Shirley hit an RBI-double to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. After a pop out, Lewis hit a 2-run single to make it 4-1 before Mickey Burns and Mickayla Naanos reached to load the bases.

Kenzlei Mathews and Morganne Grant hit run-scoring singles before Dottie Wilson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in another run.

"We were able to get a bunch of runs with two outs because the girls went up there with a good plan and put the ball in play," Vanderpool said. "I really liked the way we approached the second game. I am proud of our girls on offense and how we pitched as well."

The Stars had 21 hits in the two games, with Ally and Gabby Lewis each having four hits, while Mathews and Shirley had three each.

WeBo also got good work from all three of their pitchers, allowing just four earned runs in the game and striking out 13.

The Stars backed up Saturday's effort with a crucial conference win on Monday against Southmont.

WeBo knew coming into the series that a sweep of the Mounties would earn a share of the Sagamore Conference title for the first time since 2007.

After four scoreless innings, WeBo got on the board in the fifth, scoring four runs. Burns drew a bases-loaded walk to get the first run, before Naanos drove in a run with a ground out to make it 2-0.

With two outs, Grant hit a 2-run double to make it 4-0.

Southmont scored twice in the top of the sixth before Gabby Lewis hit an RBI-single in the bottom of the inning.

Shirley and Wilson had two hits apiece for the Stars, while Lewis struck out 15. She allowed three unearned runs on five hits.

Vanderpool said it is going to be a good chance to fine tune things heading into sectional play.

"We have three pitchers that I can use at any time and they are all able to get the job done," Vanderpool said. "It will give them a chance to see different batters and our hitters will get to see some different pitching too."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.