Gillespie softball falls to Titans in sectional

Gillespie softball falls to Titans in sectional

Gillespie’s Emma Gipson delivers a pitch in Saturday’s sectional loss to Glenwood. Enquirer Democrat photo by Daniel Winningham.

By DANIEL WINNINGHAM

Coal Country Times Managing Editor

The offense was there, along with the ability to overcome a deficit, but in the end, Gillespie Middle School’s girls softball team saw its season end with a 13-7 loss to Glenwood Middle School Saturday in the IESA Class AA Chatham Sectional title game at Glenwood Intermediate School.

Glenwood (13-3) pushed across multiple runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh on its way to the sectional victory.

The Titans outhit the Indians 14-10 and also held a 5-2 edge in extra base hits.

Gillespie’s Lauren Bertagnolli (2-for-3, two runs), Wrigley Releford (2-for-4, triple, two runs)

Delaney Taylor (2-for-4, two RBI) and Ava Parish (2-for-3, run, RBI) each had multiple hits.

Erika Gill (1-for-4) and Gipson (1-for-4, run, RBI triple) also had a hit in the season-ending defeat.

Gillespie won the coin toss and elected to be the home team. Glenwood, playing as the visitor on its home field, broke through with three runs in the top of the first. Gillespie battled back, scoring once in the second, then taking a 4-3 lead after plating three in the third.

Taylor drove in a run with a single in the second.

Releford’s double and Gibson’s triple were part of the Indians’ three-run third.

But Glenwood responded with four in the fourth, taking a 7-4 lead, then added two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

All the Indians could muster were three more tallies in the fifth to pull within 9-7. Two runners were stranded in scoring position to end the sixth, with the Titans ahead 11-7.

Gillespie’s season ends with an overall record of 20-3.

Gipson struck out six and walked three in seven innings. She allowed 12 earned. Of the 140 pitches she threw, 88 were strikes.

“Chatham hit the ball well against (Emma) Gipson,” Smith said. “She struggled controlling her location and our defense was a little flat. Not bad, we only had one error, but not aggressive at times when we needed to be.”

In just its second year, this was Gillespie Middle School’s first tripto a sectional. The Gillespie High School team has won 10 regionals in 15 years and made several appearances in IHSA sectional competition.

Glenwood will take on Barrington Station (13-1) in a first round contest at Champions Field in Normal Friday, Sept. 27. The semifinal, third and first place contests are Saturday, Sept. 28.