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SECTION IV SOFTBALL: TIOGA UPENDS SECOND-SEEDED LANSING, 15-2, IN CLASS C QUARTERFINALS (11 PHOTOS) (2021-06-07)

By KEVIN L. SMITH
Valley Sports Report
LANSING — Kindra Wessels’ overall performance propelled seventh-seeded Tioga to a dominant, 15-2, victory over second-seeded Lansing here Monday in the Section IV, Class C softball quarter-final round.

Wessels tossed a complete game for the Lady Tigers. She fanned 11 batters and gave up just two runs on four hits. At the dish, Wessels collected two doubles and a single, while driving in four runs and scoring three times.

Mykenzie Thetga had a double, single and knocked in three runs for Tioga. Austyn Vance added three hits, two RBI, a walk and two runs scored. Abby Foley had three hits and scored four times, while Olivia Ayres tabbed two singles and two runs scored. and Julia Bellis contributed two RBI.

Tioga coach Heather Klossner said the win was a “confidence boost” following the Lady Tigers’ 6-1 loss to Elmira-Notre Dame in the
Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship game Saturday.

“It was a good game,” she said of Monday’s win. “We need to work hard from now on.”

The Lady Tigers kicked off its scoring effort in the top of the first inning. With two runners on base, Wessels reached base on an error. The error brought Ayres and Foley home to make it 2-0.

In the bottom of the first, the Lady Bobcats answered back. Kiara Lovejoy reached base on an error to start things off. Lovejoy then proceeded to steal second base and move to third on a wild pitch. Iris Boerma singled Lovejoy home to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Further into the bottom of the first, Ashley Bell chopped an infield single into the ground, which gave Boerman enough time to score and tie the game at 2-2.

From then on, Wessels kept Lansing in check by retiring 15 straight Lady Bobcats, until she gave up a single to Boerman in the bottom of the sixth.

“Kindra is doing a really nice job for us (this season),” Klossner said. “She’s comfortable and trusting her pitches. She’s working on keeping her hands back (at the plate) and hitting the ball well.”

Tioga plated three more runs in the top of the third inning. With two outs and Wessels at second, Vance singled to right field to push Wessels across home plate, giving the Lady Tigers the lead for good, at 3-2.

Following a soft single to right by Alissa Hine, Bellis smacked a base hit to left-center field that drove in Vance and Hine, increasing Tioga’s advantage to 5-2 in the process.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Tigers added two more runs to their lead. Keyed by a double from Wessels that scored Foley and a single from Thetga that sent Wessels home, Tioga upped its advantage to 7-2.

The Lady Tigers blew the game wide-open with seven runs in the top of the fifth inning. Wessels led the pack with a three-run double, while Thetga chipped in a run-scoring, two-bagger, and Foley and Vance each chopped a single up the middle for an RBI. Vance capped the frenzy by scoring on a groundout, which put Tioga at a commanding 14-2 tilt.

The floodgates opened on the scoreboard once Tioga’s offense got its timing down, was patient and got their hands to the ball, Klossner said.

“The ball wasn’t traveling as much with the heavy air, but we did a good job of getting timely hits later on in the game,” she said.

Tioga’s final run of the game came in the top of the seventh inning when Foley scored on a groundout.

The Lady Tigers will now prepare for a rematch against the third-seeded Lady Crusaders in the sectional semifinal round this Wednesday at 5 p.m.

“Hopefully we learned from Saturday’s game and give (Notre Dame) a better matchup (on Wednesday),” Klossner said. “I think we can mentally prepare for them the second time around.”

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IN PHOTO 1: Tioga’s Kindra Wessels. … PHOTOS BY KEVIN L. SMITH.

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