Bulldogs gain confidence

Bulldogs gain confidence

NORMAL — Mahomet-Seymour knocked off Big 12 champion Bloomington on Thursday.

Its reward is the top seed — and regional host — in Normal West in Saturday's championship game.

"This gives the kids confidence," M-S coach Nic DiFilippo said after the Bulldogs defeated the Raiders 5-3 in a wind-blown Class 3A regional semifinal. "We have such a young team with only two seniors. But they realize we can play with anybody."

Brad Herrmann pitched a complete game and Joe Kenney had four RBI for the Bulldogs, who led 4-0 after two innings. Leadoff batter Tyler Francisco had two hits, including a first-inning triple, and Josh Hubbs scored twice.

"We haven't played in two weeks, so we talked about getting out early and getting momentum," DiFilippo said.

Herrmann scattered six hits and struck out three.

"Our pitcher stepped up," DiFilippo said. "He competed on the mound."

Olympia 6, St. Thomas More 1. The Sabers were held to five hits in a Class 2A sectional semifinal loss at Clinton. Olympia's Sawyer Howard struck out nine and helped his cause with three hits.

In softball:

Tuscola 7, Tri-City 5. In the sixth inning of a close sectional semifinal, Tuscola's Sam Kohlbecker was scheduled to bat but motioned to coach Lenny Sementi.

"She told me she wasn't seeing the ball right today," Sementi said.

Kohlbecker gave her coach the OK to pinch-hit Kati Ponder, who delivered a run-scoring single. Kohlbecker returned to play defense in the seventh inning.

"That speaks volumes about how unselfish this group is," Sementi said. "Not many kids would do that. This is an unselfish group that just does their jobs."

The Warriors (24-6) rallied twice to advance to Saturday's Buffalo Sectional title game against Cumberland. A senior-led team, the Warriors benefited from junior Carmen Commerford's two hits and two RBI, spectacular defense by junior right fielder Madison Frerichs and sophomore Erin Walker's complete game.

"We had to scratch and claw a little bit, but we never blinked," Sementi said.

Commerford's two-run, two-out double in the bottom of the fifth inning put Tuscola ahead to stay.

In boys' tennis:

Illineks 3-0. A year ago, the Urbana Uni High doubles team of Alex Mestre and Edo Roth lost early at state, forcing the pair to make a long run in the consolation bracket (sixth round). This time, the Illineks made sure to start fast.

Mestre and Roth are 3-0 after the first day in the Chicago suburbs. Their 6-4, 6-4 win against the St. Charles North duo of Danny Oakes and Dom Amalraj has them a win from the quarterfinals.

In singles, Centennial's Sunny Singh won his first two matches before losing to Downers Grove South's Joey Leto. Champaign Central's Austin Aten bounced back from an opening-round loss to win two in a row to join Singh in today's consolation action.

The Central doubles team of Sam Wampler and Ryan Smith went 2-2, as did Danville's Matthew Kidwell and Yanis Mokraoui.

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