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Lady Wildcats open with win over Athens Bible before bowing out of regional tournament

HUNTSVILLE - Tharptown started strong at the North Regional on Thursday morning, getting 11 strikeouts from Olivia Ergle in an 8-2 win over Athens Bible School, but the Lady Wildcats fell to Waterloo 5-4 in extra innings on Thursday night and then saw their tournament run end with a 15-0 loss to Skyline in an elimination game on Friday morning.
 
Ergle, a sophomore, was dominant in the circle in Tharptown’s opening game, holding Athens Bible to just four hits and two unearned runs in seven innings. She struck out five consecutive batters during one early-game stretch and then finished strong, striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh. She issued only one walk.
 
The Lady Wildcats broke up a scoreless game in the top of the fourth when Brooke Daily singled to left, advanced to third on an error and scored on an RBI single by Ameliah Dawson to make it 1-0. They threatened to put up a crooked number but ran into some bad luck when Catie Dawson’s liner up the middle struck Ameliah Dawson for the first out of the inning and again when Shaylee Wieting smoked a ball right to the centerfielder with two outs and the bases loaded.
 
Ergle protected the 1-0 lead until the top of the sixth, when Tharptown broke open the game with four runs on six hits—an infield single by Catie Dawson, a single to left by Ergle, a single to left by Madison Vandiver, a two-run double by Aly Vandiver, an RBI single by Taylor Cameron and an infield hit by Daily.
 
Athens Bible took advantage of two hits and an error to score twice in the bottom of the sixth and cut the lead to 5-2, but the Lady Wildcats answered with three runs in the top of the seventh to put the game away. Kyndall Morgan drove in a run with an infield hit, and Wieting followed with a double to left-center. Morgan scored on a wild pitch, and Wieting came home on a throwing error to make it 8-2.
 
Catie Dawson finished 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Daily was 3-for-4 with a run and a stolen base, and Madison Vandiver went 2-for-4 with a run and a steal. Wieting was 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and a run scored.
 
Later on Thursday in a winner’s bracket game, Tharptown trailed Waterloo 4-0 before scoring four times in the bottom of the seventh. Madison Vandiver reached on an error, and then one-out walks to Shaylee Wieting and Aly Vandiver loaded the bases.
 
Cameron came through with a two-run single to right to cut the lead to 4-2. One out later, Ameliah Dawson delivered a two-run double to center to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
 
Waterloo quickly went back in front on a solo homer in the top of the eighth. Olivia Ergle doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth, and the Lady Wildcats loaded the bases with only one out. Waterloo escaped the jam, however, and held on to win 5-4 and earn a date with Belgreen in the regional championship game. Tharptown (16-16) stranded 11 runners in the game and was eliminated with the loss to Skyline on Friday morning.
 
Ergle (13-9) took the loss against Waterloo despite another strong outing, allowing two earned runs on seven hits in eight innings. She struck out eight and walked two.
 
Ameliah Dawson led the Lady Wildcats at the plate, going 3-for-3 with the two-run double and a walk. Ergle and Daily both went 2-for-4, and Cameron was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Wieting walked twice, stole two bases and scored a run.
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