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October 18, 2013

Blanchard falls in state softball semifinal

(Continued)

SHAWNEE —

The third inning put Hilldale over the edge. After Mills walked, Riddle reached base on an error, which ended up bringing Mills around to double the lead. Sarah Hughey then sent one just deep enough in left field to record a double and bring in another run. Hughey then got across home play off a single from Toni McMillan.

The Lady Hornets added another in the fifth, leaving Blanchard with a mountainous task in the last three innings. They managed to show a bit of life when Miller, who has played the hero for Blanchard many times before, singled in the bottom of the seventh. Hafford then stepped up to smash one over the wall in left center, which brought a rapturous reception from the dugout all the way to home plate.

Unfortunately for the Lady Lions, it came just a little too late. With the light rain getting heavier, a strikeout from Riddle sealed Hilldale's trip to the final on Saturday, where they will face Bethel, the team that knocked out Tuttle.

It also sealed the Lady Lions' exit from the tournament and season, in which they recorded a 35-10 record.

"Hilldale's been number one all year long, and we knew it was going to be a dog fight," Miller said. "We did everything we could to prepare for them, and just came up short. I'm very proud of our team. We had 35 wins this year, and I couldn't ask for any more." 

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