West Vigo got off to a good start but Brown County finished better in Class 3A high school softball sectional semifinal action Tuesday night at Edgewood.
The Eagles bested the Vikings 7-5 and will meet South Vermillion, a 12-7 winner over Owen Valley, for the sectional championship on Thursday starting at 6 p.m.
Brown County scored two runs in the fifth frame of the contest played in sunny, warm conditions to defeat the Vikings for the third time this season and improve to 19-9 for the season. The Eagles and Vikings shared Western Indiana Conference honors, all with one league defeat.
Courtney Johnson, the winning pitcher in relief, singled to lead off the fifth and was sacrificed to second. Sarah Southerland's triple scored Johnson and she came home on a sacrifice fly by Dakota Anderson, who had another sac-fly RBI in the third frame.
West Vigo was the visiting team and scored all its runs in the first three innings off BC starter Tayler McDonald.
McDonald one of her two walks to West Vigo leadoff batter Jacy McClain, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Shelby Edington after taking third on an infield hit by Ciara McClain.
Brown County did not score in the first and the Vikings went up 3-0 with a two-run third. Leah Morrison reached on a two-base outfield miscue and was sacrificed to third by Mary Curley before Charity Lane walked.
Morrison and Lane both scored on a hit by Jacy McClain.
Brown County scored four runs in the second with Southerland driving in two of the runs with a single and the Eagles had a 4-3 lead after two innings of play.
West Vigo scored its final two runs in the third to regain the lead at 5-4. Ciara McClain led off with a single. Brittany Voils singled with one out to make it 4-4 and scored on an error to give the Vikings a 5-4 lead.
McDonald got a strikeout and got Jacy McClain to fly out to center to get out of the jam, West Vigo leaving the bases loaded.
Courtney Johnson pitched the final four innings for the Eagles and allowed just two hits and three base runners, evening her mound mark at 7-7.
The Eagles tied the game at 5-5 in the third to set up their game-winning action in the fifth.
Ciara McClain and Voils each had two hits to lead the Vikings as they concluded a 15-12 season. Ciara McClain, Jacy McClain and Kayla Akers are the seniors on the roster.
West Vigo coach Cherish Easton summed up the season following the contest.
“I am very proud of these girls. It is difficult for me to express how good they have been to each other and to me. They have represented West Vigo so well,” she said.
“We didn't capitalize on some opportunities in this game. You have to do that in the tournament. We improved a lot and made some adjustments since losing to Brown County in the season,” she added.
Brown County 7, West Vigo 5
West Vigo (AB-R-H-BI) — J. McClain 3b 3-2-1-2, Waters cf 4-0-0-0, C. McClain 2b 4-1-2-0, Edington ss 3-0-1-1, Voils c 4-1-2-0, Morrison dp-p 4-1-1-1. Curley rf 1-0-0-0, Lane 3b 2-1-0-0, Harden p 1-0-0-0, Mann 2-0-0-0. Totals 28-5-7-4
Brown Çounty (AB-R-H-BI) — Smith cf 4-1-2-1, Ellis ss-3b 4-0-3-0, Harper 3-0-1-1, Johnson 3-1-1-0, McDonald 2-1-1-0, Southerland 3-2-2-1. Anderson 1-1-1-2, Ross dp 3-1-1-2, Sandlin 3-0-0-0. Totals 26-7-12-7
West Vigo 122 000 0 — 5
Brown County 041 020 x — 7
E — Walsh, Southerland, Ellis, Sandlin. LOB — WV 7, BC 4. 2B —McDonald, Ross. 3B — Anderson. SB — Voils. CS — Voils, Smith. SF — Edington, Anderson (2). SH — McDonald, Curley.
West Vigo IP H R ER BB SO
Harden 12/3 7 4 4 0 0
Morrison (L) 41/3 5 3 3 0 0
Brown County IP H R ER BB SO
McDonald 3 5 5 2 2 3
Johnson (W-7-7) 4 2 0 0 1 3
WP — Johnson. T — 1:55
Next — Brown County (19-9) will meet South Vermillion (16-8) for the sectional championship on Thursday. West Vigo finishes 15-12.