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SECTION IV SOFTBALL: TIOGA RIDES BIG INNING TO 7-1 WIN OVER GROTON IN CLASS C OPENER (17 PHOTOS) (2019-05-24)

Valley Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER "” Fifth-seed Tioga scored five runs in the home half of the fifth inning to blow open a close game en route to a 7-1 win over 12th-seed Groton here Friday afternoon in the opening round of the Section IV, Class C playoffs.

The Lady Tigers, now 12-5, will travel to fourth-seed Candor Tuesday for a quarter-final match-up.

Groton took the early lead on a two-out RBI double by Elisa Allen in the top of the first inning, but Tioga answered in the home half of the frame.

With two outs, sophomore Kindra Wessels singled up the middle, junior Giovanna Rossi walked, and freshman Julia Bellis flared an RBI single to right field to tie the game at 1-1.

Tioga's Wessels pitched around a pair of Groton singles in the top of the second, then allowed just one more hit over the final five innings.

Tioga took the lead for good in the third inning.

Sophomore Olivia Ayres slapped a single to third base to lead off the rally, and moved to second on a ground-ball single to left field by Wessels. With two outs, Bellis stroked an RBI single to right field to make it 2-1.

Wessels and Groton's Jaelynne Harriott matched zeroes until the fifth inning.

Wessels led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a triple to right field, and scored on an RBI single by Rossi to extend the lead to 3-1. With one out, Molly Bombard knocked home a run with a groundout to make it 4-1.

After a walk to junior Kim Tarbox and a single by junior Shaina Franks, juniors Hannah Fox and Michaela Webb, and Ayres delivered consecutive RBI singles to give the Lady Tigers a 7-1 lead.

Wessels allowed a one-out single in the top of the sixth inning, but retired the final five batters she faced to preserve the win.

Wessels allowed one run on five hits, while striking out 10 and walking none to record the win. She threw just 76 pitches in seven innings.

Wessels also led Tioga at the plate with three hits, including a triple, and three runs scored, while Bellis had two hits and two RBI, Ayres had two hits and one RBI, and Franks had two hits and one run scored.

Webb added a single and an RBI in Tioga's 12-hit attack, while Rossi and Fox each singled, scored one run, and drove in one run, Tarbox scored one run, and Bombard drove in one run.

Harriott allowed seven runs on 12 hits, while striking out eight and walking two in the loss.

Allen doubled and singled, and drove in one run, and Cheyanne Hunt singled and scored a run to pace Groton at the plate.

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IN PHOTO 1: Tioga's Kindra Wessels. ... PHOTOS COURTESY OF CRISTINA ROSSI.

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