Tarrant's arm, bat lead M-S
BLOOMINGTON — Alie Tarrant can pitch.
She can hit, too.
The Mahomet-Seymour senior put both skills on display Saturday during the Class 3A Bloomington Regional championship game. She picked a good time, too, helping the Bulldogs squeak past the host Raiders 4-3 and give Mahomet-Seymour its second regional title in three seasons.
Tarrant hit a three-run home run to put M-S up 3-2 after the third inning and struck out 13 while overcoming six walks in throwing a complete game.
“She’s in control of things,” Bulldogs coach Mark Jones said of his standout who will play softball at Butler. “The walks were a little more than you wanted, but her college coach was there. He was sitting right behind the backstop, so I’m sure there were some nerves for her. There were a lot of situations she could have struggled to get out of, but she got big strikeouts when she needed to.”
It wasn’t just Tarrant, though, who allowed the Bulldogs (22-7) to put last season’s heartbreaking loss in a regional championship game to Rantoul behind them.
Sophomore Emily Ziegler broke a 3-3 tie with a two-out base hit up the middle to score pinch runner Ashley Anglin from second base in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“She’s done that a lot this year,” Jones said. “She’s been in clutch situations and has come up with a big hit. She’s just making good contact. It’s not somebody necessarily at the beginning of the year that you had penciled in, but she’s been playing well all year.”
Tarrant avoided potential jams throughout the game and kept the ball dry enough during a steady rain in the top of the seventh to make sure her prep career ends with at least a regional title. Lindsey Ogle (2 for 2, stolen base) and Jessica Roberts (double) chipped in for the Bulldogs, who now await either Peoria Notre Dame or Washington at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in a Bartonville Sctional semifinal game.
Peoria Notre Dame and Washington were tied at 1 on Saturday before inclement weather suspended the game, which will resume at 10 a.m. Monday.
“This is something we worked all year for,” Jones said. “I reminded them recently that after they got beat last year, you don’t want that feeling again.
“I think approximately 365 days later, they were very confident, but not overconfident. They knew they could get it done.”