It was the final regular-season game for both teams as they head into next week’s region tournament. The top two teams will play for the championship in a best-of-three series beginning Wednesday at Pope, which owns the No. 1 seed.
Sequoyah will be the No. 2 seed if Creekview loses tonight at Northview. A victory by Creekview, which beat the Lady Chiefs during the season and owns the tiebreaker, would send the Lady Grizzlies into the finals.
Sequoyah (15-10, 8-2) celebrated its 10 seniors before the start of Thursday’s game, and most of them had a hand in securing the win.
“It was senior night, and there was a lot of emotion,” Sequoyah coach Todd Morrissey said. “I needed the girls to settle down. We have a veteran club that just needed to play like they can play. I needed them to just be steady, consistent, make the routine plays and I figured we’d win.”
Morrissey’s formula worked to perfection.
Kell (12-7, 8-2) took an early 1-0 lead behind a two-out single from Taylor Colclasure that scored Allie Sheffield from second.
Sequoyah responded with three runs in the bottom half of the frame off two hits and three errors.
Hannah Kidd walked to lead off the inning and Mikayla Cagle reached on an error. Katie Collis, who batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored, doubled to pick up two of her three RBIs, bringing home Kidd and Cagle for the one-run lead.
Liz Prance singled in the next at-bat to plate Collis, and the Lady Chiefs extended the margin from there.
After few scoreless innings, Cagle led of the fifth with a single and moved to second on an error. Courtney Gibbs doubled home Cagle, and Collis’ single to left resulted in another error, allowing Gibbs to score. Prance reached on an error that moved Collis to third, and Olivia Black’s fielder’s choice brought Collis home to give Sequoyah a 6-1 advantage.
“We came out OK and got a run in the first inning, but then we had error after error,” Kell coach Lindsay Faber said. “That’s tough to come back from, and they just capitalized on everything. They got runners on base, and they were getting the hits at the right time.”
Colclasure, who batted 2-for-3, collected her second RBI with a two-out single to center in the sixth that plated Hannah McKinley.
However, an RBI single by Collis scored Dakota Hughes in the bottom half of the frame put Sequoyah ahead 7-2.
Back-to-back one-out singles from Jill Torres and Naomi Stuger gave Kell some hope in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Sierra Shipley added to the excitement with a groundout that scored Torres, but Stuger was picked off at third to end the threat and complete the win for Sequoyah.
Emily Mitchell allowed three earned runs on six hits and struck out one to get the victory for the Lady Chiefs.
“We talked about it a lot that, at the end part of the season, you have to be playing at peak performance,” Morrissey said. “We played (Thursday) error-free, got hits when we needed to and took advantage of their mistakes.
“The first one to burp throws up.”
McKinley added three stolen bases for Kell.
Sara Howard gave up seven runs — five earned — on nine hits, walked three and struck out four for the Lady Longhorns, who will compete in next week’s double-elimination tournament at Al Bishop Park in Marietta.
The nine-team, double-elimination tournament begins Monday and will determine the region’s No. 3 and No. 4 seeds for the state playoffs.
“Fortunately, with the transition, it’s like a fresh start, and that’s how we’re going to have to take it,” Faber said about playing in the tournament. “We’ll wipe all of this stuff away, and our place is our place, and we’ll just take it from there.”