Late rally ends Greenwood’s run

EVERETT – Greenwood’s dream postseason was two outs away from continuing into the state quarterfinals.

However, District 5 champion Hope for Hyndman Charter School denied it with a four-run bottom of the seventh inning to win a 6-5 Class A first-round contest at Everett Area Elementary School.

Hope for Hyndman will play Williams Valley in Thursday’s quarterfinals at a site and time to be determined. The District 11 champions defeated District 4’s Bloomsburg, 8-0.

“The girls came through big,” Hornets’ coach Matt Dawson said. “To get this far – the final eight in the state – what more can you ask for?”

Down 5-2 heading into Hope for Hyndman’s final at bat, Christine Myers smacked the first pitch she saw back up the middle for a lead-off single.

After an out, No. 9 hitter Jelaina Snyder hammered a deep line drive to left field that cleared the defense and gave her an RBI triple. That turned the lineup over to No. 1 batter Kiana May, who had moved to that position in the order for this game. May delivered an RBI double where the ball hit on the chalk going down the left field line. That scored Snyder to make it 5-4, and Karly Willison singled to move May to third base.

That brought up Jess Ringler with one out, and after Greenwood had traded out starting pitcher Brooke Louden for Chelsea Hicks before Willison got her hit. The junior lefty Ringler ripped a sharp liner to short left field that fell in and easily scored May. Dawson sent Willison home without hesitation and the senior catcher made it safely, sliding into the plate to score the game-winning run for the second time in a row.

“I just wanted a smooth and easy swing,” Ringler said. “It came off well and we won the game. This is huge for us.”

“The inning just goes to show that we’re a one-through-nine lineup,” Dawson added. “Most teams knowing seven, eight, and nine are coming up are probably thinking that they’ve got us. We got some big hits down there at the end with Christine and Jelaina. And then Kiana had a big one too. Obviously, we were happy to get Karly and Jess back up with a chance.”

Ringler had a one-hitter going from the circle until the top of the fifth, where Greenwood tallied three hits and tied the game at 2-2 on an RBI single by Amy Heggenstaller, which was the third-straight hit in the frame.

Hope for Hyndman stranded a runner in the sixth inning and then the District 3 championships made their move. The Wildcats had three hits in the top of the seventh – from Katie Osborne, Brittany Fleisher and Heggenstaller – with an RBI to Fleisher and two to Heggenstaller to give them a three-run advantage.

However, as it turned out, the District 5 champs had it right where they wanted it.

“Sometimes you lose them that way,” Greenwood coach Troy Gantt said.

“They found the holes to get hits in. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the outs we needed.

“We had seen them play in their district championship game, so we had a pretty good idea of what we were going to see.”

Despite the loss, Gantt was pleased with how his team came together for the playoff push.

“We had a great finish to the year. The potential was there, and it was a matter of finding the right combinations in the right spots. And we got hot at the right time. That’s a testament to the girls.”

Notes: Osborne, Fleisher, and Heggenstaller each had two hits to lead the Wildcats, who finished at 8-12. … May, Willison, and Ringler each had a pair of hits for Hope for Hyndman, which improves to 17-7.