Baldwin (7-11) and Ottawa (7-11) were the fourth and fifth seeds in the Spring Hill regional, while Paola (20-0) was the top seed. The semifinals are slated for 4:30 p.m. Monday in Spring Hill with the finals set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Paola showed why it is one of the top programs in 4A. Ottawa fell twice Tuesday to the Panthers, 10-2 and 9-2.
Kendall Blanco was strong early with her pitching in the opener.
“She stayed focus and stuck to the game plan like she was asked,” Ottawa coach Joe Serna said. “About the fourth inning, Paola’s hitters got going and started to put some things together to take the lead 5-2 and from there it just snowballed.”
Tatum Knight started the second game and went 1 2/3 inning. Shea Mesik tossed 4 2/3.
“Shea Mesik came in and threw a good controlled game,” Serna said. “We told her sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other team when they are a good hitting team and we are not getting the benefit of the corners, like the opponent is.
“She kept going out there each inning working hard to keep them down, but it just didn’t matter what she threw up there, Paola hit it. We applaud the effort and the willingness of her to stay focused and try her best.”