EDGINGTON — Through four innings of Tuesday's IHSA Class 2A sectional softball semifinal, the Rockridge Rockets found themselves in a spot they had rarely been in during the regular season.
Facing a two-run deficit going into the bottom of the fifth inning, the undefeated and top-seeded Rockets rallied to tie the game and had Tremont on the ropes until Mother Nature picked that particular moment to intervene.
With two outs and runners on first and second, heavy winds and rains swept into western Rock Island County, ultimately forcing the game to be suspended with the Rockets and the Turks locked in a 3-3 tie and with Rockridge senior center fielder Lea Kendall at the plate. That is where play will resume Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Before the umpires pulled both teams off the diamond, Rockridge had tied the game when Payton Brown walked and scored on a wild pitch following an Olivia Drish double; Drish scored the tying run on a single by catcher Bailah Bognar.
There were two outs with courtesy runner Billie Dieterich at second base and Taylor Sedam on first following a two-out walk from Tremont senior pitching ace Paige McAllister, with Kendall at the plate and down 1-2 in the count.
"I think we're in a good spot," said Rockridge coach John Nelson. "There's no one I'd rather have up there than Lea. She's behind in the count now, but she's a fantastic lead-off batter and definitely the sparkplug of the team. She gets us going."
The Turks had struck in the top of the first inning when the combination of two walks from Kendra Lewis and two errors produced the game's first run. Rockridge tied it in its half of the first when Kendall scored on a wild pitch, but an inning later, a two-run home run by Tremont catcher Jenna Getz put her club up 3-1.
Rockridge got a pair of runners on in the third and fourth innings, but each time McAllister was able to work out of trouble. Those situations coupled with the Rockets' fifth-inning rally still in progress have Nelson looking forward to Wednesday's conclusion.
"That was the approach, to have good, quality at-bats," he said. "We were trying to have that early in the game, but we were swinging out of the zone before we tightened up our discipline a bit."
Stanford Olympia 7, Kewanee 2: Awaiting Wednesday's outcome will be Stanford Olympia (20-3), which jumped on Kewanee with a three-run first inning and never looked back as it ended the Boilermakers' season at 17-9.
A two-run double by Casey Wismiller got the Spartans started in the opening frame, and with Chloe Scruggins also driving in two runs, Olympia worked its way to a 7-0 lead after five innings. Playing in its first sectional since 2004, Kewanee got on the board in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by Rachael Brown (3-for-3), but that was as close as the Boilers could get.
ROWVA-Williamsfield 1, Annawan-Wethersfield 0 (8 inn.): A stellar pitcher's duel between Annawan-Wethersfield junior Daci Hier and ROWVA-Wililamsfield senior Katelyn Aldred ended when Ava Landon's two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning scored Ashlyn Murdock to end the Titans' season at 18-5.
Making its first sectional appearance since 2011, A-W was bolstered by a 15-strikeout performance from Hier (16-2) and had its chances to break through against the Cougars (17-11) in the fifth and sixth innings, leaving two runners on in each inning.
In the fifth, Lainy Manuel singled and reached second when Traidan Hier got on via an error, but both were left stranded. The top of the sixth saw the best chance for the Titans as Paige Huffman (2-for-4) belted a one-out double and Jaydn Wise walked, but Aldred was able to put out the fire.