(Tabor) -- For the third time in three tries this season, Fremont-Mills edged past Griswold. This time, it sent the Knights on in regional play and the Tigers season to a finish.
Coach Kyle Fichter’s team moved to 11-14 with a 4-3 edge-of-your-seat, nail-biter of a win over the Tigers (7-13) in a Class 1A Region 3 first round matchup.
“Sometimes you almost feel bad at the end of the game,” Coach Fichter said. “(Griswold) played exceptionally well, and I think the three games our kids just had the right breaks at the right time.”
Or the right people in the right places at the right time. For instance, Fremont-Mills sophomore Addi Meese - the team and the Corner Conference’s top run-producer - delivered her 29th and 30th RBI of the season with a two-run go-ahead double in the decisive fifth.
“(Coach) just told me to see it and wait for it,” Meese said. “I just had to see the right pitch and put the bat on it.”
And when the Knights needed a big out, they generally got it from their powerful hurler Kendall Reed. The junior finished with 10 strikeouts, but it was a groundout with the tying runner on third and Griswold cleanup hitter Haylee Pennock at the plate that finally ended a game full of snuffed-out rallies.
“I thought she pitched exceptionally well,” Fichter said. “Coming into the game, I thought she looked a little tired, but in the later innings she found another gear and came through.”
Griswold struck first in the contest, scoring in the third on a single by Kacey Danker and a three-base error on a sacrifice bunt by Erynn Peterson. Jordyn Main later followed with an RBI groundout to put the Tigers in front 2-0.
The Knights chipped away at the lead, scoring one in the fourth when Meese walked, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and then came in on an error. That set the stage for the fifth.
With one out and nobody on base, Malea Moore walked, stole second, moved to third on a dropped catch and then scored on an overthrow. Liz Bartles followed with a walk of her own before Tori Kilpatrick singled and then both scored on Meese’s clutch hit.
The third and final run scored by Griswold came in the sixth. Pennock was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and then came in on an error.
It wasn’t always pretty, but Coach Fichter will certainly take it as F-M moves into a regional quarterfinal at No. 14 Lenox on Wednesday.
“It’s obviously going to take patience and fundamental defense,” Fichter said. “We just got done talking about what we saw the first time. We can’t give them more than one or two to give ourselves a chance. Then just let the pitch do the work, get the bat on the ball and see where it goes.”
The Knights/Tigers game will be in Lenox at approximately 7:30 following the Stanton/Murray game on Wednesday. View interviews with Coach Fichter and Meese below.