By Mike McGinnis
The Goreville High School softball team came up short in its bid to repeat as Class 1A state champions by losing to Toledo Cumberland, 8-4, in the semi-finals on Friday. However, the Lady Blackcats defeated Glasford-Illini Bluffs 13-6 on Saturday to claim the third place trophy.
Against Cumberland on Friday, Goreville had a 1-0 lead until the Lady Pirates scored three runs in the top of the third. In the bottom of the frame, a double by Sydnee Rushing, a single by Brittney Pritchett and a Taylor Odom home run put the Lady Blackcats back in front 4-3. The score stayed that until Cumberland scored four runs in the top of the sixth to retake the lead at 7-4, then added a run in the seventh to make the final margin.
Sydnee Rushing pitched the complete game, allowing seven hits. Goreville had nine hits and committed two errors.
Top hitters for Goreville: Darnell 1-3 (RBI); Odom 1-2 (HR, 3 RBI); Pritchett 2-4; Rushing 3-4.
In Saturday’s third place match-up with Illini Bluffs, the Lady Blackcats broke a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the fourth inning. They scored three more runs in the top of the fifth before Illini Bluffs got on the board with a run in the bottom of the frame to make it 4-1. Goreville had a big top of the sixth, scoring five runs to push its lead to 9-1. Illini Bluffs answered with a pair of runs in its half of the sixth to narrow the gap to 9-3. The Lady Blackcats plated four more runs in the seventh, then Illini Bluffs closed out the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the inning to make the 13-6 final margin.
Sydnee Rushing went the distance in the circle to pick up her 16th win of the season.
Top hitters for Goreville: Odom 3-5 (HR, 5 RBI); Pritchett 3-5 (2 RBI); Rushing 2-4; Schaede 4-5 (2 RBI); A. Webb 1-4 (3 RBI).