That wasn’t enough, however, as the Lady Eagles’ season ended one victory short of playing for a national title with a 7-6 loss to William Carey (Miss.) in nine innings Wednesday.
Reinhardt starter Madison Luck, who was pulled from the game after giving up six runs, re-entered the game in the eighth inning and surrendered the game-winner homer to Tiffany De Vore.
In her two stints in the circle, Luck totaled six innings of work. The Creekview High School product gave up all seven runs on nine hits and four walks and took a loss for the second straight night.
Carliegh Myatt pitched three scoreless innings of relief, despite giving up three hits and walking three. She was pulled from the game in the eighth when William Carey was threatening.
Reinhardt had the final at-bats of the game, but the Lady Eagles were retired in order.
Reinhardt coach Glen Crawford called the loss heartbreaking.
“It was going to be a heartbreaking loss for either of the teams (Wednesday night),” Crawford said in a university release. “I’m proud of the way our girls fought. They’ve fought hard all season long and even when we were down 6-0, I just told them to make adjustments and keep fighting.”
William Carey jumped on Luck in the first inning and tagged her for two runs on a homer by Sarah Beckman. While the Lady Eagles were able to prevent further damage at that point, it wasn’t long before William Carey put a few more runs across the plate.
With a four-run fifth, William Carey increased its lead to 6-0. It started when a single and two walks loaded the bases with no outs.
A fielder’s choice got the first out of the inning, but allowed a run to score at the same time. A hit batter reloaded the bases before Luck was pulled from the game in exchange for Myatt. Unlike Tuesday night, when Myatt entered the game and worked out of a tough jam without surrendering any runs, she gave up three more runs.
Reinhardt’s first big inning game in the fifth when it cut the 6-0 deficit in half.
After a one-out walk was issued to Alexis Chumbler, another Creekview alum, pinch-hitter Amanda Rutkowski singled to right-center to put runners on the corners. After a groundout allowed Kendall Hahn, who was running for Rutkowski, to reach second, Maddie Evans pinch-hit and drove in Chumbler. Hahn also scored on the play when the ball was misplayed and resulted in an error.
Tyler Sampson entered to run for Evans and stole second. She later scored on a shallow hit to center by Shelby Sinclair, before the latter was tagged out trying to reach second.
After holding William Carey in the top of the sixth, the Lady Eagles went back to work in the bottom of the frame.
The Lady Eagles quickly put two runners on when Katie Rietkovich and Randi Wimpy hit back-to-back singles. C.J. Browder, the third batter of the inning, connected on the first pitch she saw and drove it over the wall in center field to tie the game at 6-all.
Crawford hoped the homerby Browder would give the Lady Eagles the boost they needed.
“C.J. came up with the big three-run homer for us, and I thought we were going to be able to pull it out, but we just couldn’t get that last run,” Crawford said.
Brittany LeBlanc entered to pitch for William Carey. While she allowed the Lady Eagles to put runners on second and third, she worked out of the inning by striking out Taylor Braselton and Sampson to end the threat.
Reinhardt was able to get a runner on in both the seventh and eighth innings, but it never got into scoring position.
LeBlanc pitched the final four innings for William Carey and did not allow a run on one hit and three walks.