ELLISTOWN – East Union softball coach Josh Blythe called Friday night’s 11-8 Class 2A state playoff loss to East Wester the one that got away.
He watched his team make at least five official errors in Game 1 of the best-of-three state quarterfinals series.
“We just made too many mistakes,” Blythe said. “There were a couple of times we threw to the wrong base, but they were so amped up. I think there were a lot of nerves on both teams.
“That’s one that got away from us.”
East Webster (24-5) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but East Union (21-9) responded with a seven-run bottom of the second to take a 7-1 lead. The Lady Urchins drew four walks in the second and pitcher Emily Coggin plated four runs with a grand slam off pitcher Liz Massey.
“You put up seven runs in the second inning. Coggin hits the big grand slam. You’re supposed to win those games,” Blythe said. “Our defense failed us. We’ve got to make plays. You make the plays you win the game.”
East Webster rallied in the third to tie the score at 7-7. The Lady Wolverines took advantage of two East Union errors, a two-run double by Hallie Beth Reed and an RBI single from No. 9 batter Whitney Winter.
The visitors took the lead 10-7 with a three-run fourth. They scored on a two-base error and an RBI single by Emma McKee.
Maggie McVey’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth cut the EW lead to 10-8.
East Webster added its final run in the fifth on a throwing error.
“We’ve gave them one tonight,” Blythe said. “We’ve got to go down there and regroup. Both teams respect each other. When you get to this time of year there’s nobody bad playing.”
East Union 7, East Webster 4 (Game 2)
Emily Coggin dominated East Webster both at the plate and in the circle as East Union evened the series at 1-1 with their 7-4 win.
Coggin went 3 for 4 at the plate with five RBI including a home run. She also tossed a five-hitter with three strikeouts on the mound.
Coggin broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the fourth with her 3-run homer for the final 7-4 outcome.
East Union 8, East Webster 6 (Game 3)
East Union took the comeback consecutive wins and advanced over East Webster 2-1 after winning game three 8-6 on Saturday.
The Lady Urchins took the lead for good with a 4-run fourth after trailing 3-2 going into the inning.
Dakota Hines gave East Union the 4-3 lead when she doubled and drove in Harleigh Wheelington and Addison Clayton.
Emily Coggin followed that up with a 2-run homer that plated courtesy runner Olivia Elder and gave the Lady Urchins the 6-3 lead.
Hines stole home to give East Union a seventh run in the sixth.
The final Lady Urchin run came in the seventh as Carrie Wilkinson walked and later scored on Harleigh Wheelington's RBI double.
East Union will face Mantachie for the north softball title. Game one will be at East Union on Friday at 5:30 with game two to be hosted by Mantachie on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.