Avery Romans had a big game at the plate and in the circle, and A.J. Fenske walloped a mammoth home run to lift Republic to a six-inning, 11-1 win over Willard in the district semifinals Thursday. The Lady Tigers advance to play Webb City Friday in Republic at 5 pm.
Republic jumped ahead with five runs in the first inning, aided by two Willard errors. Kaitlyn Ragsdale led off with a single, stole second base, advanced to third on an error, and scored on a wild pitch. Megan Weis and Julia Higgins both walked, and Willard pitcher Cheyenne Terry almost worked out of trouble. But with two outs, Willard left fielder Sydney Schader dropped a fly ball from Megan Thorne, allowing two more runs to score. Romans followed that up with a single, and Riley Laub drilled a double to the fence in right field to score two more, making the score 5-0.
Republic scored a single run in the fourth inning, when Megan Weis hit a one-out triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Higgins.
After Willard scored an unearned run in the sixth, Republic ended the game with five more runs after two were out in the bottom of the inning. Higgins doubled (her 15th of the season) and Collier singled her home. Fenske followed that with a long home run over the center field fence to make the score 9-1. Thorne singled, Romans doubled, and Laub singled, making the score 11-1 and ending the game after six innings.
Romans had three base hits and didn’t allow an earned run. Willard didn’t get a base hit until there were two outs in the third inning. They managed only three hits for the entire game.
Weis scored twice, walked twice, and tripled. Fenske and Laub each had two base hits for Republic, who improved to 20-6.
The Lady Tigers advance to the district championship game, where they’ll play Webb City Friday, weather permitting. The Cardinals beat Carthage 9-0 in the other district semifinal.
If both the softball and football teams play Friday, Republic Tiger Sports will livestream the district championship softball game in its entirety, starting at 5 pm. We will record pre-game Senior Night ceremonies for football, and join the Republic/Carthage football game in progress at the completion of the softball game. (If softball is rained out, the district championship game is tentatively planned for Saturday at 11 am.)