Hilltop jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and then were able to stave off an Edgerton rally to defeat the Lady Bulldogs 5-4 in a Division IV softball District Semifinal at Bryan on Wednesday May 17th and with the win they advance to their first ever District Finals. These two teams had met back on March 27th with Edgerton picking up a 5-4 win at Hilltop. The Bulldogs entered tournament play as the #1 seed in the Bryan district. Hilltop, the #3 seed, was able to put up an early run to take a 1-0 lead to the 2nd inning. Starting pitcher Aubrey Wyse then provided the offensive highlight of the evening for the Cadets by putting a 3-run homer over the fence off of Edgerton junior pitcher Hannah Sleesman to give Hilltop a 4-0 lead. The Bulldogs mounted a rally, scoring one run in the 2nd inning and adding another run in the 3rd, helped along the way by a throwing error by Hilltop catcher Becca Miller. On an attempted pick off play at 3rd base, the throw was over the head of the 3rd baseman, which allowed the runner to score from 3rd. The game would remain 4-2 after a scoreless 4th inning before the Lady Bulldogs were able to tie it up at 4-4 with a two run 5th inning. With the score knotted at 4, Hilltop (19-9) plated a run to retake the lead 5-4 heading to the 7th inning. Hilltop was unable to add any insurance runs in the top of 7th so they took a one run lead to the bottom of the inning. Aubrey Wyse finished off her complete game in the circle by retiring Edgerton (17-8) in the 7th and securing a 5-4 win for the Cadets and a berth in the District Finals on Friday, May 19th. Wyse went all 7 innings for the Lady Cadets, allowing four runs (two of them earned) on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts. She also went 2-3 at the plate with a 3-run homer accounting for her three RBI’s. Haley Stephens went 4-4 with three singles and a double, Maddie Schaper was 3-3 with three singles, and Ariana Brown was 2-3 with a double and a solo home run. Hilltop as a team pounded out 13 hits on the night. For Edgerton, Hannah Sleesman pitched all 7 innings allowing five runs (four of them earned) on 13 hits with zero walks and two strikeouts. It was a big night with the bat for junior centerfielder Bella Cercone, going 3-4 with three singles, Cloey Whitman was 1-4 with a two run homer, and Erin Luke was 1-2 with a double and a RBI to fuel the Edgerton comeback attempt.
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