WELLSVILLE — The Eagles are going to state on the wings of a dominate regional tournament. Wellsville High School’s baseball team topped Oskaloosa Wednesday in the 3A regional championships game 15-4 to punch its ticket to state. The 3A state baseball tournament is set for Thursday and Friday Kansas State University’s Tointon Family Stadium, 1800 College Ave., Manhattan.
The top-seeded Oskaloosa Bears had a bye in the first round, and defeated Central Heights 13-2 Wednesday to advance. Wellsville led 5-0 in the second inning before the Bears cut the lead to 5-3. It was all Eagles from there on out.
WHS had little trouble in the first two rounds. A 17-2 win in three innings over McLouth Tuesday in the regional opener and a 10-0 win in five innings in Wednesday’s early game sent Wellsville High School to the 3A regional championship game Wednesday.
Wellsville made quick work of McLouth, a team they swept in late March. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead following a two-run top of the second, but WHS quickly closed to door, scoring five runs in the bottom of the second, and 11 runs in the third to run-rule its opponent in three innings.
Aaron Mosher, senior, had six of Wellsville’s nine RBIs. Zach Vance, junior, pitched all three innings, recording four strikeouts.
COUNCIL GROVE —
The Lady Eagles came close to a 3A state softball tournament bid as the No. 6 seed in their regional.
Wellsville earned hard-fought wins in its first two games to advance to Wednesday’s title matchup against Osage City. Despite a furious late rally, WHS fell 8-7.
Jordan Stringfield, senior, got on base with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, but the team could not push the tying run across.
The team found itself down 7-2 after the fourth inning. Two runs in the top of the fifth and three in the top of the sixth tied the game, but Osage answered with the eventual game-winner in the bottom of the sixth.
Stringfield and Maggie Heath each had two RBIs apiece.
Wellsville’s path to the title game was a wild one. The team came out on top after a back-and-forth affair in the opening round against Mission Valley. WHS scored five runs in the fifth inning, three in the seventh and hung on to beat the third-seeded Lady Vikings 9-8.
It was a big game for the team’s three seniors — Jaycee Fluderer, Hannah Pemberton and Stringfield. All three went yard, with Fluderer belting a three-run homer in the fifth, Stringfield a two-run shot and Pemberton a solo homerun. The three combined for all of the team’s nine RBIs, tallying three apiece. Pemberton also set the school record in career strikeouts, punching out 10 batters versus just one walk.
“She made the other team earn it at the plate,” Rose said. “Our seniors, all three, really stepped up big for us.”
Wellsville’s late game Tuesday in the semifinals against Jayhawk-Linn was even more drama-filled. Down 4-2 in the top of the seventh, Pemberton and Fluderer walked, followed by an infield hit by Kaylie Reece, freshman, to load the bases with two outs. Morgan Baska, freshman, came to the plate and worked a 2-2 count. Down to their the team’s last strike, Baska knocked a bases-clearing triple over the right fielder’s head to keep Wellsville’s season alive. Julia Delgado hit an RBI single, Mackenzie Moore singled, an illegal pitch was called to score another run and Heath hit an RBI single to cap off a six-run inning. All runs came with two outs. Jayhawk-Linn got two back in the bottom of the seventh, but the rally ended there.
“Our back was against the wall,” Rose said. “I talked to the girls on Sunday and said that anything can happen. We’ve been down to our last strike before. We got two team wins [Tuesday].”
Stringfield hit another homer in the contest, giving her 30 in her career. Pemberton allowed four earned runs across seven innings. She struck out six and walked four.