RICHMOND – The Genoa-Kingston softball team led for the first six innings in Thursday's Big Northern Conference East Division game against Richmond-Burton.
The Cogs entered the bottom of the seventh with a two-run cushion, but couldn't put away the Rockets and allowed three runs – all with two outs – in a 5-4 loss. G-K committed three errors in the final inning to fall to 16-11 overall, and 6-6 in the BNC East.
Junior starting pitcher Baylie Ullmark pitched six strong innings for G-K, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out nine. Cogs coach Mike Lauer elected to take out Ullmark in the seventh inning and bring in Rachel Joos to close out R-B, but G-K committed three errors, including a dropped fly ball that allowed R-B to score the game-winning run.
“As a coach you try to do a few things, and take a chance here and there,” Lauer said. “We wanted to see what would work with a different mix of pitching.
"We had a chance to end it with [a] throw down [to third], and the ball bounces off the helmet and they score the tying run. That's a tough break. We didn't execute, but I told my players that I'll take the loss and the blame in this one.”
Sophomore Kelly Hensley (2 for 2) gave G-K a 3-0 lead in the first inning with a three-run home run to straightaway center field, scoring Lexi Howie and Paige Keegan. The Cogs went up 4-0 in the third on an RBI single from Ullmark, before R-B (17-9, 8-4) scored single runs in the fifth and sixth, and three in the seventh. The Rockets only had one hit in the final inning, as well as two walks.
G-K's Kendyl Strack went 2 for 3 with two singles in the loss.
Three locals advance: At Charleston, three local athletes advanced to the finals in their respective events at the IHSA Class 1A girls track and field state meet.
In the 800 meters, Hinckley-Big Rock freshman Audrey Harrod clocked her best time of the season at 2 minutes, 21.16 seconds to secure one of 12 spots in Saturday’s final. Her prelim time was sixth-fastest overall. H-BR senior Kristen Clark ran a career-best 2:24.49, but failed to qualify for the final.
In the triple jump, H-BR sophomore Courtney Carls jumped a career best 34 feet, 11½ inches, good for a spot in the final. Carls’ jump was the ninth-best among the qualifiers.
In the high jump, Indian Creek junior Chantel Kyler was one of nine qualifiers to clear 5-2 and advance to the final.
In the 300 low hurdles, H-BR senior Katie Hoffman, who won the sectional title in that event, finished with a time of 52.02 but did not qualify for the final.
In the 1,600 meters, Indian Creek junior Emily Schilling posted a time of 5:30.91 but did not qualify for the final. Harrod followed with a time of 5:35.05.
Marengo 6, Sycamore 5: At Marengo, the Spartans (20-12) got offensive contributions from Mark Skelley, who had a pair of doubles, and Cooper Vinz (2 for 4, double, three RBIs), but dropped their eighth one-run decision of the season.