WHEELER – Caylie Streich got it done in the circle and at the plate on Saturday.
Not only did the junior throw a four-hitter, she also had two RBI hits as Myrtle beat Wheeler 6-1 to complete a sweep of the Class 1A quarterfinal series.
The Lady Hawks, ranked No. 10 by the Daily Journal, will face Hamilton in the semifinals.
After Myrtle (23-4) won Game 1 on Friday, 3-1, coach Brooke Gordon wasn’t sure if Streich would be able to pitch Game 2 because of a hip issue.
“Didn’t know if we were going to start her or what, but she came out wanting the ball, and I was like, OK, she wants it, so I know she feels good,” Gordon said.
Streich struck out eight and walked none, and she gave Wheeler (17-7) few opportunities to score.
Randi Johnson was just as effective in the circle for the Lady Eagles, until Myrtle got to her in the fourth. Kinsley Gordon smacked a leadoff triple, and Streich brought her home with a bunt single to make it 1-0.
The Lady Hawks made it 3-0 in the sixth, when Streich and Breanna Smith had back-to-back RBI singles.
“The second (hit), she’d been jamming me all day, so I backed off the plate and got in the back of the box and just waited,” Streich said. “I knew if I could hit it to (the right) side then we could score.”
Myrtle added three insurance runs in the seventh. The Lady Hawks finished with eight hits against Johnson, who struck out six and walked three.
“Just one of those days,” Wheeler coach Molly Brown said. “At this point in the season it’s just whoever gets the timely hit. That’s what it comes down to.”
Big Inning: Olivia Decanter drilled a two-out double to the left field wall in the sixth, and then Streich and Smith followed with their RBI hits.
Big Stat: Seven different Lady Hawks had a hit.
Coach Speak: “I’ve told them since the beginning, if we want to win, we’ve got to put the bat on the ball. We’re not standing up there to walk.” – Gordon