(Anita) Stanton and 12th ranked Exira-EHK played stride for stridethe entire game with neither team ever holding more than a one run advantage in their regional tournament matchup.
Stanton struck first, plating a run in the top of the first inning when Carmen Subbert singled, stole second base, and scored on Rachel Sorenson's RBI base hit. Stanton held the 1-0 edge until the bottom of the 2nd when Karra Collins led off the inning with a single and took 2nd base on a fielding error. The run would score all the way from second base on a throwing error to tie the game. Exira-EHK's first lead came in the third inning when Rachel Smith struck a one out double, advanced to third on Claire Paulsen's sacrafice bunt and scored on a dropped third strike. The Spartans held the 2-1 edge all the way until the 6th inning when Stanton plated a run to even the score once again. Stanton got a leadoff single by Erin Deday and a sacrafice fly by Kimber Wagg to knot the game at two. In the bottom of the 7th Taylor Paulsen led off for Exira-EHK and singled to left field. The outfielder misplayed the ball and it went all the way to the fence allowing Paulsen to take 2nd and 3rd. A pop up to second base and a flyout to shallow center field had Stanton on the verge of forcing extra innings, but then a two out ground ball to shortstop by Claire Paulsen was bobbled which allowed the game winning run to score from third.
Exira-EHK improves to 23-7 with the win. They will play Essex/South Page on Friday in the regional semi-finals. Stanton's season comes to an end with a 14-9 mark. Rachel Smith struck out eleven batters. She earned the win allowing two walks and four hits. Roey Sink suffers the loss for Stanton with one strikeout and allowing six hits and two walks.