Reading vs. Sand Creek – – MHSAA Softball Regional Semifinal – – The Bleacher Denizen – – June 10, 2023 – – by Chuck Krafft
In this video of “Red River Valley” from my You Tube Channel, I tell the listeners that you never know where the Red River Valley will lead you. https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2023/06/10/addison-vs-fowler-mhsaa-softball-regional-final-the-bleacher-denizen-june-10-2023-by-chuck-krafft/
One place the Red River Valley does not lead is Morenci High, but fortunately, M-156 south gets you pretty close, so your Bleacher Denizen was able to get to Morenci to blog today’s softball regional!!
In today’s second regional semifinal in Morenci, the Rangers from Reading will take on the Aggies from Sand Creek. Fowler won the first game of the regional and will be the winner’s opponent in today’s regional final. Here is a link to today’s first game! https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2023/06/10/addison-vs-fowler-mhsaa-softball-regional-final-the-bleacher-denizen-june-10-2023-by-chuck-krafft/
Sand Creek won the flip and will be the home team. Reading will bat first.
Here are the starting lineups.
Ariana McDowell p
Aubree Ervans 1b
Maggie Santure c
Blakeleigh Cornstubble ss
Cadince Flynn 3b
Ellie Van Dyke cf
Ava Kitchen lf
Khloe Monahan 2b
Delanie Youngs-Puckett rf
SAND CREEK AGGIES:
Claire Pickens p
Emma Hildebrand c
Maddie Osburn ss
Tanana Emmendorfer 2b
Elaina Allen 1b
Makenna Wheeler dp
Lily Hawkins 3b
Carley Allen cf
Ella Pickford lf
Jaden Rendel will play right field, but will not bat.
It is now time to review the events of this game through the occasionally clear lenses of an aging Bleacher Denizen who will always treasure the memory of the only fair ball he ever hit in Little League. (I’m a right handed batter and the ball went to the shortstop, so my story is “I pulled it!!” and I’m stickin’ to it!!)
Claire Pickens retired the three Reading batters in the top of the first inning on a strikeout, a fly to second base and another strikeout.
Ariana McDowell retired the Sand Creek leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning on a fly to center field. Emma Hildebrand walked and went to second base when Maddie Osburn walked. Reading Shortstop Blakeleigh Cornstubble made a great diving effort, but she was not able to keep Tanana Emmendorfer’s single from getting to the outfield to drive in Emma Hildebrand as Maddie Osburn advanced to third base. When an overthrow was made on the play, Maddie Osborn scored and Tanana Emmendorfer ran all the way to third base.
Tanana Emmendorfer scored on an RBI groundout to third blase by Elaina Allen. Ariana McDowell struck out the next Aggie batter to end the inning.
Sand Creek scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead.
Claire Pickens retired the three Ranger second inning hitters on a fly to the shortstop, a groundout to second base and a strikeout.
Carley Allen and Ella Pickford walked to lead off the top of the second inning for Sand Creek. Claire Pickens was safe on an error as Carley Allen and Ella Pickford advanced to third and second base. Emma Hildebrand singled to center field to drive in Carley Allen. Ella Pickford went to third base and Claire Pickens to second base.
Ella Pickford scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Maddie Osborn. Claire Pickens advanced to third base on the play. Emma Hildebrand stole second base. The next Sand Creek hitter was out on a fly to third base where Cadince Flynn made a nice backhanded grab. Ariana McDowell retired the next Aggie hitter on a popup to first base to end the inning.
Sand Creek scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning to boost its lead to 5-0.
Ava Kitchen walked to lead off the top of the third inning for Reading. Claire Pickens retired the next batter on a popup to first base. Delanie Youngs-Puckett singled to send Ava Kitchen to second base. Aggie Right Fielder Jaden Rendel alertly fired the ball to second base to get retire the runner who had overrun second base on the play. Delanie Youngs-Puckett took second base on a wild pitch. Claire Pickens retired the next Ranger batter on a grounder to shortstop to end the inning.
Ariana McDowell struck out the Aggie leadoff batter in the bottom of the third inning and retired the next hitter on a bouncer to the pitcher. Carley Allen belted a triple to left field. Ella Pickford blooped a single to right field to drive in Carley Allen. Sand Creek made its third out of the inning on a fly to center field.
Sand Creek scored one run in the bottom of the third inning to increase its lead to 6-0.
Claire Pickens retired the three Reading hitters in the fourth inning on a liner to first base, a fly to center field and a strikeout.
Ariana McDowell retied the first two Aggie batters in the bottom of the third inning on a grounder to third base and a fly to right field. Tanana Emmendorfer beat out an infield hit and went to second base when Elaina Allen walked. Makenna Wheeler drilled an RBI single up the middle to drive Tanana Emmendorfer home as Alaina Allen advanced to third base. Sand Creek made the third out of the inning on a liner to third base.
Sand Creek added one run in the bottom of the fourth inning to go ahead by a 7-0 score.
Claire Pickens retired the three Ranger batters in the top of the fifth inning on a grounder to second base, a strikeout and a grounder to third base.
Ariana McDowell retired the Aggie leadoff batter in the top of the fifth inning on a grounder to the shortstop. Ella Pickford lined a double to center field. Claire Pickens beat out an infield single and Ella Pickford went to third base. Emma Hildebrand tripled to the center field fence to drive in Ella Pickford and Claire Pickens. The runner was out at home and Maddie Osburn was safe at first base on a fielder’s choice grounder to the shortstop.
Tanana Emmendorfer singled to right field to push Maddie Osburn to third base. Tanana Emmendorfer advanced to second base on the throw to third base. Ranger Center Fielder Ellie Van Dyke made a great tumbling catch of a drive by Elaina Allen to get the third Aggie out.
Sand Creek scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and took a 9-0 lead into the sixth inning.
Khloe Monahan walked to lead off the top of the sixth inning for Reading. Claire Pickens struck out the next Ranger batter. Ariana McDowell singled to right field and Khloe Monahan took second base. Khloe Monahan went to third base and Ariana McDowell to second base on a groundout to first base by Aubree Ervans. Maggie Santure belted a double to deep left field to drive in Khloe Monahan and Ariana McDowell.
Blakeleigh Cornstubble singled to move Maggie Santure to third base. Claire Pickens retired the next Ranger hitter on a bouncer to the pitcher to end the inning.
Reading scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning to trim the Sand Creek lead to 9-2.
Makenna Wheeler blasted a double to the center field fence to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning for Sand Creek. Lily Hawkins singled to push Makenna Wheeler to third base; she then stole second base. Carley Allen singled to left field to drive in Makenna Wheeler and Lily Hawkins. After Carley Allen advanced to second base on a wild pitch, Ella Pickford walked.
Carley Allen was out at third base and Claire Pickens safe at first on a fielder’s choice grounder to the shortstop. Ella Pickford went to second base on the play. Ariana McDowell retired the next Aggie hitter on a fly to second base. Maddie Osburn singled up the middle to drive in Ella Pickford with the game’s winning run.
Reading scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 12-2 lead. The game was ended by the mercy rule.
Sand Creek will play Fowler in the next game to decide the championship of the Regional!
Maggie Santure had a double and two RBI for Reading. Ariana McDowell, Blakeleigh Cornstubble and Delanie Youngs-Puckett each had a single.
Ariana McDowell pitched the complete game for Reading.
Emma Hildebrand had a triple, a single and three RBI for Sand Creek. Makenna Wheeler had a double and two singles. Carley Allen had a triple, a single and two RBI. Ella Pickford had a double, a single and one RBI. Tanana Emmendorfer had three singles and one RBI. Maddie Osburn had one single and two RBI. Claire Pickens and Lily Hawkins each added a single. Elaina Allen had one RBI.
Claire Pickens pitched a complete six inning game allowing two runs and four hits as she struck out six batters.
Here is a play by play of the regional final!! https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2023/06/11/fowler-vs-sand-creek-mhsaa-softball-regional-final-the-bleacher-denizen-june-10-2023-by-chuck-krafft/