By Christopher Johnson


The completion of the softball season caught up with area teams this past week as one by one they began to fall out of contention in the Class 1A and 2A State Tournament.

On Wednesday, June 2, the games began for teams from Pecatonica, Durand and Winnebago. By the end of the day only one of three area combatants stood standing for game two.

In the Class 1A Regional Semi-final played in Dakota, the seven-seed Pecatonica Lady Indians felt the pressure thrown at them by Dakota ace Hannah Simmer.

She was proficient with her pitches and the Lady Indians found themselves looking at an early deficit, one that would only grow as the game progressed.

Simmer found the strike-out ball working for her, especially as she dealt with the heart of the Lady Indians lineup.

Her change of pace caused Pecatonica swingers to find themselves looking at pitcher’s holes, with unfavorable counts, leading to easy plays and the facilitation of innings recorded by Simmer.

The host Lady Indians forced an early end to the Class 1A second season opener for Pecatonica as they rolled up scores and ended the day with an 11-0 decision.

The loss sent Pecatonica in to the summer, free of school commitments at least into early August.

Dakota, with the win, moved on to face South Beloit in the championship one day later. The two-seed found just enou8gh offense to slip past the three seed Lady Sobos and capture round one of the 1A Tournament, the Regional Crown, with the 7-6 decision.

Later in the day, the 2A participant Winnebago Lady Indians saw their season come crumbling down as they were eliminated from future consideration by Regional host and fellow Indians representative, Marengo.

Four-seed Marengo used big innings and a lot of opportunistic momentum to subdue Winnebago en route to their five run win.

The 12-7 decision pushed Marengo into the 2A Regional Title match at home, where they would fall to top-seed Richmond-Burton, 11-9.

Durand was the only team remaining after opening night and they made the most of their situation and top-seed positioning.

The one-seed opened game play with an intent on success as they rolled out 16 runs in a 15-run four inning clincher in the Bulldogs 1A Semi-Final opener.

Alden-Hebron was eliminated and stood along the sidelines as they watched Durand roll again in game two at home, giving them the Regional Title with the Saturday, June 5 elimination of four-seed Kirkland-Hiawatha, 3-1.

The win gave the Lady Bulldogs their first Regional Title since the 2014-2015 season under head coach Jeff Smith.

The next time Durand took the field, they saw their season come to a close though, Pearl City was just a little bit better and claimed the rights of elimination over the host Lady Bulldogs.

Pearl City advanced to the Sectional Championship match with the 5-4 winner over Durand, but found its own season struck down by Super Sectional representative and fellow NUIC member, Orangeville.

The Lady Broncos played for the right to move on to the State Finals on Monday, June 14 in the Sterling 1A Super Sectional.

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