ATHENA - Weston-McEwen scored two runs with two outs in the home first in the opening round of the state Class 2A softball tournament here Thursday.
Haley Freske, in the circle, and the TigerScot defense made those two runs stand up as the TigerScots advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 win over Enterprise-Joseph.
"That was the game," WM coach Jeff Griggs said of the TigerScot first. "I didn't really expect that. We've been hitting the ball well and I know they hit the ball well. When we were up two, I expected them to score and thought we would punch some more runs over. But that was enough and Haley was able to work with her two runs and we got a win."
The TigerScots left Athena Thursday evening and traveled to play a quarterfinal against Regis today at 1 p.m.
Freske gave up an infield single to Amy Edison to lead off the game, and issued a two-out walk, but got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the first and bring the homestanding TigerScots to bat.
"We came to the field all happy and singing," W-M leadoff hitter Morgan Entze said. "We did our thing before the game and we were all on today."
Entze flied out to left and Rilei Hill flied out to right, but Molly von Borstel went the opposite way and singled to left.
Freske and Claire Ely followed with singles to load the bases with two outs.
Joshlynn Killgore, one of only three TigerScot seniors - Ely and Amanda Kuehn being the other two - stepped in. Killgore hit Kaitlyn Edison's pitch over second base where no one could get to it, and it dropped for a two-run single as von Borstel and Taryn Coffman, who ran for Freske, both scooted home. W-M had all it would need.
"I just did what coach has been working with me on," Killgore said. "I have a problem with popping up and we've been working on that and on techniques to watch the ball better. I watched the ball, did my best, and did what I could."
The TigerScot defense went to work. After Kaitlyn Edison led off the Cubs' second inning with a single and took too wide a turn, W-M's defense gunned her down on a relay from center fielder McKenzie Fuhrman to shortstop Hill, to first baseman von Borstel.
With two on and no outs in the Cubs' fifth, Kylie Willis tried to advance from first on a pitch in the dirt, but Entze, the TigerScot catcher, got her in a rundown for the first out, and Freske retired the next two.
In the sixth, Amy Edison walked to start the Cubs inning. W-M second baseman Ely made a running catch behind first base on a foul popup, and the TigerScots turned it into a double play as Amy Edison advanced to second but failed to tag up. Cubs coach Travis Huffman didn't agree and was ejected.
Freske forced another popup to end the Cub sixth.
"We had a couple of huge (defensive) plays," Griggs said. "The girl (Kaitlyn Edison) who overran first and got picked off was runner-out that could've helped them a lot. The pickle ended up in an out and they could've used that run. When they didn't tag at first, they could've used that as that is their fastest kid (Amy Edison), but who thought Claire (Ely) was going to catch that ball anyway. I wouldn't have been standing there to tag either."
The defense behind Freske accounted for 17 of the 21 Cub outs.
"We worked really well together (defensively)," Killgore said. "We held it together with a lot of talk, and we stayed positive."
And then there was Freske. The junior pitched a shutout, struck out four, allowed only four hits, and only one Cub made it as far as third.
"Haley pitched really well today," Entze said of her battery mate. "She came out and was really happy and that helps her a lot. She was on her game today and that helped us."
The TigerScots took a 17-9 mark into today's quarterfinal with Regis.
"This is my third year at state," Killgore, who is scheduled to graduate tonight, said. "If we keep our attitudes up and stay positive, I know we can do it. And they said I can walk when I arrive (back in Athena)."
W-M 2, Enterprise-Joseph 0
E-J 000 000 0 - 0 4 0
W-M 200 000 x - 2 7 1
K. Edison and A. Edison; Freske and Entze.
Hits - EJ: A. Edison, K. Edison 2, Kohlhepp; WM: von Borstel, Freske, Ely, Killgore 2, Entze, Hill.