Breanna Fortune gets a high five from her mom, head coach Heather Fortune, after hitting a 2-run homer to deep centerfield. Photo by Jason Selby
Last Monday in Chariton, Wayne won their regional final against Mount Ayr, 14-2 in 3 innings, to advance to the state tournament for the 3rd time since 2010.
“The girls came in very focused, with only one thing on their mind, and that was to win big,” head coach Heather Fortune said. “When we lost the coin flip and drew visitors, our thought was to make sure we scored first. We hit the ball well, and following a couple errors in the first inning we settled down and played ball.”
The Lady Falcons romped thanks to a dominant offensive performance, a welcome return with the state tournament awaiting them. Wayne hit 3 homeruns and just missed a couple more. Jul 18, 2014, 10:55
Kenton Lain slaps one of his two hits against the Cards. Photo by Jenny Nickell
On Tues., July 15, in the first round of the playoffs, Wayne trailed at Central Decatur after 3 innings, 7-2. After Trent Moore stepped in for senior pitcher C.D. Kunzie, the Falcons almost rallied to victory, coming up a run short in the final inning, 7-6.
Kunzie was hurt by some untimely errors, giving up 3 earned runs in 4 innings of work while walking none and striking out 3 Cardinals. Moore bounced back from control issues in his previous outing to allow no hits and no runs in 3 innings, striking out 3. The right-hander finished the season with an impressive 1.21 ERA. Jul 18, 2014, 08:23
Gabriella Buban watches the softball sail high for a ball. Photo by Jason Selby
After struggling at the plate against Moravia, the Lady Falcons walked 15 times in Friday’s 8-0 win against Moravia to advance to the regional final in Chariton. Breanna Fortune drew 4 of those walks, and struck out 15 batters while only allowing 1 hit and 1 walk during a complete game shutout.
“I was glad to see the girls come back strong offensively after Wednesday night’s game,” head coach Heather Fortune said. “They came in to practice and pre-game very focused and ready to play ball.” Jul 13, 2014, 16:56
Trevor Wilson gets tangled up with a Blue Devil baserunner. Photo by Jenny Nickell
In the last game of the regular season, Wayne traveled to Martensdale-St. Mary’s classic high school stadium, with its brick wall and metal roof in left field, and lost 11-1. Pitcher Trent Moore struggled with control issues, dropping to 5-1 on the season. A strong Blue Devils team knocked him out of the game in the 4th inning. Moore gave up 3 earned runs and struck out 2, finishing with a regular season ERA of 1.35 to lead the Falcons.
Trevor Wilson finished the game, giving up 2 earned runs with a strikeout.
The top of the lineup struggled for Wayne, going 0-12. Moore had a hit, a run and the team’s only walk. Cade Christian had 1 hit. Blayde Baker hit a double with the Falcons’ only RBI. Jul 11, 2014, 13:57
Mandie Gassman slides into second base with a double against Moravia. Gassman would later hit the game-tying sacrifice fly. Photo by Jason Selby
Some spectators attending the Lady Falcons’ first playoff game were not aware that Moravia fielded a good team. Though Moravia came in at 12-8, most of their losses were to larger schools early in the season, and they had recently beaten 2nd seeded Murray, who got upset in the first round themselves. Wayne was set up for a trap.
That trap worked for six innings, as Moravia took a 1-0 lead into the final frame.
“Last inning of our Moravia game was intense,” head coach Heather Fortune said, putting it mildly. Jul 11, 2014, 12:44