MURFREESBORO - Through two Class AAA state tournament games, Siegel pitcher Sophie Golliver still hasn’t allowed a run.
The UAB commit pitched her second complete-game shutout of the tournament in a 6-0 victory over Springfield Wednesday afternoon at Starplex.
“She’s phenomenal,” Siegel coach Shawn Middleton said of his ace. “[We’re] really locked in. They’ve done a good job of focusing and staying with it.”
The Lady Stars advanced to Thursday’s winner’s bracket final versus Jefferson County at 5:30 p.m., while Springfield will face elimination against Knoxville Halls in the loser’s bracket Thursday morning at 11:30 a.m.
Golliver struck out seven and scattered six hits. The UAB commit said Siegel’s lack of familiarity with its opponents has forced them to not overlook anyone.
“It’s helped to be in a different environment,” she said. “We don’t know anything about some of these teams, so we have to come out and give it our best.”
Springfield (36-11) had six players reach base, but two critical baserunning mistakes kept the Lady Yellow Jackets off the board. Emilee Bundy overran second base in the fourth, and Emma Asmondy was picked off third base in the sixth to kill a potential Springfield rally.
“We made a lot of mental mistakes and made a few errors, but that happens,” Owsley said. “We just didn’t respond like we normally do. We started hanging our heads a little bit, which just led to more mistakes.”
Siegel’s Riley Maupin scored on a throwing error by Springfield shortstop Katie Rhodes in the second. One inning later, Claire Czajkowski made it 2-0 with an RBI single.
The two teams then traded zeroes until the bottom of the sixth, when Siegel exploded for four runs.
Presley Leebrick drove in Lauren Lee with a sac fly, and Vanessa Westfall followed with an RBI single. Tennessee commit Caitlyn McCrary then launched a two-run homer into the parking lot to put an exclamation point on the Siegel victory.
“We had too many fly balls in the first couple of innings,” Siegel coach Shawn Middleton said. “We weren’t pacing at the plate enough until the last inning. We’ve just got to be us and pass the bat along.”
Owsley said he doesn’t see much of a gap between his team and Siegel. The two could meet again later in the tournament if Springfield advances out of the loser’s bracket.
“That’s a good team,” he said. “I hope we’re back here playing them again for the [championship].”