BURLINGTON – Genoa-Kingston pitcher Baylie Ullmark held Kaneland in check for six innings.
Unfortunately for the Cogs, Knights pitcher Angie Morrow one-upped her counterpart in a Class 3A Burlington Central Regional semifinal, striking out 10 Cogs in a complete-game shutout.
With the 1-0 win, second-seeded Kaneland (20-11) advances to play top-seeded Burlington Central, where Morrow played her first two seasons before transferring to Kaneland, in the championship game at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"[Morrow] had a good drop (ball) that probably really killed us. We kept swinging at junk," said Ullmark, who was 0 for 1 with a sacrifice bunt and a hit-by-pitch as the Cogs' cleanup hitter. "We just didn't have our 'A' game like we we're supposed to. It happens."
Ullmark allowed only six hits. She walked two, struck out five and was able to get out of pressure situations for the third-seeded Cogs.
"My drop curve was working pretty well. I think my speed got them," Ullmark said. "But, so did [Morrow]'s. She had that movement where we just couldn't get a hold of it."
Kaneland scored its only run on a weird play in the top of the third. With two outs and Morgan Weber on third, Lanie Callaghan on second and Lexi Roach at the plate, G-K catcher Paige Keegan saw Callaghan taking a big lead from second.
After a pitch from Ullmark, Keegan fired the ball toward the G-K second baseman. It looked like Callaghan would be out, but the throw was a little low and Thurlby couldn't field it cleanly. Weber sprinted home ahead of the throw back to the plate.
"It was something Paige sees, she's done that before and gotten people out, and it was a good throw, and we just didn't catch the ball first," G-K coach Mike Lauer said. "Would have been out of the inning. She just didn't have the ball, so tough break."
Morrow allowed only three hits, two by Kendyl Strack, including a double, and one from Katie Thurlby.
The Cogs (16-12) had a runner on second with one out in the first, fourth and sixth innings, but couldn't get the big hit.
With one out in the seventh, G-K's Emma Jones hit a line drive that bounced in front of Knights right fielder Morgan Sikon. But the ball was hit hard enough that Sikon was able to throw Jones out at first.
"We couldn't get a break. That ball Emma hit, if that's a little bit left or right, that's a run," Lauer said. "If it skips by, anything happens there, we've got a runner on third for sure, maybe even a run."