LATE-NIGHT HEROICS

Comeback in final at-bat gives Louisa-Muscatine the 2A crown

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Louisa-Muscatine players celebrate after rallying to defeat Iowa City Regina in the Class 2A championship game on Thursday night inside Rogers Park. For more photos, visit CU.messengernews.net

State newcomer Louisa-Muscatine saved its best for last here Thursday night.

Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, the Falcons scored two runs to dethrone Iowa City Regina for the Class 2A title inside Rogers Park, 4-3.

Hailey Sanders, who pitched the final four innings of scoreless ball for the win, drove in her sister, Kylee Sanders, for the game-winning run.

“It’s so unreal,” Hailey Sanders said. “Getting up, falling behind, it was so stressful.

“I am just so proud of everybody and just happy.”

Isabelle True also hit a home run in the fourth for Louisa-Muscatine. Hailey Sanders had three hits and McKenna Hohenadel had two, with Kylee Sanders also driving in a run.

Louisa-Muscatine made its at home on Buena Vista University Diamond, winning all three of its tournament games on the field by one run. They topped Wilton in the quarterfinals, 3-2, and knocked off Central Springs on Wednesday, 2-1.

The Falcons suffered just one loss to a 2A team this year in No. 1 Durant, finishing the year with 14 consecutive wins.

“It’s unexplainable,” Hailey Sanders said. “I just got up there (for the game-winning at-bat) and was telling myself that I’ve been in pressure situations before — not that kind of pressure — but pressure situations and I’ve been doing this a long time so be confident, calm and focus on hitting the ball.”

For the Regals, who were chasing their fourth title in eight seasons, Katie Bracken was dealt the tough-luck loss. Lauren Marth, who plated the game-winning run in the semifinals, drove in two more and Bracken added two hits with two walks.

“We left it all out on the field,” Bracken said. “We strung together some hits; we just fell a little short.”

LOUISA-MUSCATINE 4, IOWA CITY REGINA 3

Regina 003 000 0 – 3 6 1

L-M 100 000 2 – 4 10 1

WP–Hailey Sanders (10-2, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 1 BB); LP–Katie Bracken (17-14, 6.2 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 K, 1 BB).

HR-LM: Isabelle True. 2B–LM: McKenna Hohenadel, Brynn Jeambey. RBI–ICR: Paisley Gardner, Lauren Marth (2); LM: Kylee Sanders, Isabelle True, Hailey Sanders.

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