University High School pitcher Kali Riddell brought down the house against Morton during the 3A IHSA regional at Bloomington High School, Tuesday, May 25, 2010. (The Pantagraph, David Proeber)
BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS — Kelsey Wilson did not set the tone immediately Tuesday.
She let the first pitch go by for ball one.
However, the University High School senior jumped on the second delivery from Morton’s Tori Nimmo, drilling a leadoff home run over the centerfield fence. The blast got the top-seeded Pioneers rolling toward a 7-0 victory in the semifinals of the Class 3A Bloomington Regional.
“She gave me a nice little high one down the middle,” Wilson said. “You might as well do something with it. It felt solid. It’s nice to get up by a run with one hit.”
U High coach Mike Sondgeroth agreed, saying Wilson’s shot “took a lot of pressure off of everybody.” The Pioneers (19-14) scored another run in the first on Maggie Bee’s RBI single and five in the sixth against the sophomore Nimmo (11-2).
They advanced to Saturday’s 11 a.m. title game against the winner of today’s semifinal between No. 2 seed Washington and No. 3 Bloomington.
“We had lots of good swings early and lots of good swings late,” Sondgeroth said.
U High banged out 12 hits in support of sophomore right-hander Kali Riddell begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting (8-6), who struck out three, walked one and scattered seven hits.
“Kali hit a lot of bats, but she moved the ball around,” Sondgeroth said. “They didn’t get them squared up.”
The fourth-seeded Potters (21-14) did have five batters retired on line drives. Wilson chased down one in the top of the sixth on a superb running catch in right-center.
“It was frustrating,” Morton coach Stacey Buescher said. “It was 2-0 and we’re hanging right there and we just couldn’t find any gaps.”
U High broke it open in the sixth with five two-out hits. The key was a pinch-hit RBI single by Kristen Satchwell to make it 3-0.
“She’s a senior who hurt her ankle in the Corn Belt Tournament,” Sondgeroth said. “I told her before the game, ‘I’m going to need you to come up in a crucial situation.’ She made me look really good.”
Shannon Stuart had three hits and an RBI for U High. Jane McCullough added two doubles and an RBI, while Wilson and Danielle Warner each had two hits and one RBI.
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