Dani Krenzer hit a walk-off single into right field to lift the Falconer Golden Falcons to its second consecutive Section VI Class C Softball title beating the Gowanda Panthers, 8-7, Tuesday.
Falconer came into the bottom half of the seventh trailing by two runs, but four consecutive hits by Emily Rhinehart, Tess Spangenburg, Emily Melquist, and Ashton Beckerink tied the game. Krenzer then hit a one out single over the head of the second baseman to give Falconer victory.
From the start of the game, Gowanda took control, sending eight batters to the plate in the first inning and coming away with a 2-0 lead. Falconer followed up with a run of their own after Kayla Lynn led off with a single, and Emily Rhinehart drove her home.
Gowanda came right back in the second and added two more runs off Addison Kota’s two-run double to left center field to make it a 4-1.
After a throwing error, Gowanda added another run in the third that allowed Hailey Fort to score from first and give the Panthers a 5-1 lead.
Tess Spangenburg belted a triple into left center with two outs that brought home Emily Rhinehart and get the Falcons back within three runs through three innings.
The heart of the Falconer lineup came alive in the bottom of the fourth. Krenzer led off with a triple. Angelina Fiasco then advanced to third on a fielder’s choice while Krenzer was in a rundown. Rhinehart, Spangenburg, and Melquist all belted hits to tie the game at five. Cameron Nagel and Holland Browning then each drive in another run to give Gowanda a 7-5 lead going into the seventh inning.
Hailey Fort doubled in the top of the seventh for Gowanda to put a runner in scoring position, but they were unable to capitalize.
Falconer made it count, as Emily Rhinehart led off the inning with a triple, and was promptly brought home by a Spangenburg double. Melquist then stepped up and brought Spangenburg home to tie the game at 7.
Ashton Beckerink singled and then Hannah Melquist was intentionally walked to bring up Krenzer.
Krenzer sent the 1-1 pitch into right field that dropped between the second baseman and right fielder to give Falconer the win.
“I knew it was going to be an absolute slugfest,” said coach Kayleigh Sieber. “We had to have support from everyone in the lineup today.”
Seven of ten batters that the Falcons sent to the plate collected at least one hit, with eight of the ten reaching base.
Falconer now advances to the Class C Far West Regional at Filmore High School on Friday night, where they will play the Section V representative.
Rhinehart (FAL): 3-4, 2 doubles, triple, 2 RBI, 3 runs
Spangenburg (FAL): 2-3, double, triple, 2 RBI, Run
Melquist (FAL): 4.1 IP, 1 K, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 ER
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