WHEELING - It's hard to beat a team three times in one season in any sport.
However, Meadowbrook accomplished that feat Tuesday night with a 3-2 victory over Harrison Central in an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 4A softball semifinal on Ben's Field at the J.B. Chambers Complex in Wheeling.
The Colts (17-5) scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh when Mourie DeLong's sacrifice fly to center plated Sarah Stine, whose slide just beat the tag by Harrison Central catcher Emily Dodds on a bang-bang play.
"Give Meadowbrook credit," veteran Harrison Central head coach Donnie Bethel said. "They battled, but so did we."
The Colts plated a pair of runs in the first frame when Ali Furry singled with one out and DeLong followed suit with two outs. Abby Dudley chased both runners home with a triple to deep right.
That would be all the hits or runs that Meadowbrook would get off Huskies' freshman Katie Ellzy. She settled down and allowed only four baserunners from the second through the sixth innings - three on walks and one on a hit batter.
"Katie settled down and got into a groove," Bethel explained. "She pitched well, but we just didn't get her enough support."
Harrison Central had plenty of opportunities, leaving two runners on base in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
The Huskies finally dented their side of the scoreboard in the fourth after Brooke Shultz drew a leadoff walk and Katie Parkinson singled to right-center. When the ball was bobbled, Shultz took third and Parkinson second. Shannon Compfer was inserted to run for Parkinson. Summer Gladman singled to left to load the bases and Roni Caldwell's infield single scored Shultz.
The Huskies failed to add any more runs when Paige Dunlap's liner to short was turned into a double play.
"We very easily could have won this game," Bethel admitted. "We had a bases-loaded and no outs play and we failed to get a bunt down when we needed to."
With two outs in the top of the sixth, Harrison Central mounted a rally to deadlock the game.
Gladman, who had a trio of singles, led off with a base rap to center. Caldwell reached on an infield single before Dunlap blooped a RBI double down the right field line.
In the bottom of the seventh, Meadowbrook loaded the bases with no outs, but a fielder's choice grounder resulted in a force at the plate. However, DeLong's fly ball to Jana Fenstamaker in center field did the trick.
"Offensively, we struggled a little bit after that first inning, but they battled back and won the game. They stepped up when they needed to," said Meadowbrook head coach Bridgett George. "It was a team win."
Harrison Central hosts Magnolia Thursday
Meadowbrook 3, Harrison Central 2
Harrison Central 000 101 0 - 2 11 2
Meadowbrook 200 000 1 - 3 4 2
HARRISON CENTRAL (12-8): Ellzy (LP, 6K, 4BB) and Dodds. Dunlap D, rbi; Fenstamaker 2S; Staley 2S; Gladman 3S; Caldwell 2S
MEADOWBROOK (17-5): DeLong (2K, 1BB), Endley (WP, 4th, 3K, 1BB) and Ab. Dudley. Ab. Dudley T, 2rbi; DeLong S, rbi.