By Will Willems Sports Editor
The Western Boone softball is one step away from repeating as sectional champions.
The Stars topped host Frankfort 6-2 on Tuesday, advancing to the sectional title game for the second-straight season.
“Our goal all year was to make it to the title game and give ourselves a chance,” Western Boone head coach Mike Vanderpool said. “We knew Frankfort was a strong team and a good hitting team. I am really proud of Olivia (Hole), she was under a lot of pressure and she held their lineup down all night. She pitched great, and Taylor (Vanderpool) and Camryn (Savage) made some nice plays behind her.”
Both teams had chances in the early innings, but it was Western Boone that ultimately broke through in the fourth.
The Stars got RBIs from Hole, Shelby Medley, Luci Evans and Vanderpool to go up 4-0 in the inning.
With a runner on first and one out, Medley doubled to drive in Julia Hole and Evans followed with a single to make it 2-0.
Both Medley (3-for-4) and Evans (2-for-3) stepped up for the Stars, Vanderpool said.
“That was great to see from the two of them,” Vanderpool said. “Whenever we can get hits and production from that part of the lineup it is great. The top of the order can’t do it all the time for us, so when they can knock in runners and be on base for our big hitters it is huge.”
Savage walked to put two on for Vanderpool, who doubled in a run. Olivia Hole followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Medley hit an RBI-single to score Raby in the fifth. Frankfort scored once in the sixth, but Julia Hole pushed the lead back to five in the seventh with a home run, her second in two games.
“Both Julia and her sister, whether it be basketball or softball, know when to turn it on,” Vanderpool said. “They really step their games up when it is a big game, that is just the type of players they are. They bring it when it is the most important and they have done it the last two games.”
Frankfort added a run in the seventh but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Vanderpool went 4-for-4 at the plate and Raby went 3-for-4.
Olivia Hole pitched the complete game, allowing six hits and two runs (one earned) and striking out two.
Vanderpool said she did exactly what he was looking for.
“She did a great job of hitting her spots,” Vanderpool said. “She was keeping the ball down and away and not letting them get good swings on it.”
The Stars face Lebanon at 6 p.m. tonight at Frankfort.
Western Boone ended Lebanon’s five-year sectional title reign last year, and want to keep the trophy in western Boone County this year as well.
“They are a really deep and dangerous team,” Vanderpool said. “We can’t make any mistakes out there and hope they have an off night. We have to hit our spots pitching and put the ball in play on offense. The girls know we can beat them, we just have to give it our all (tonight).”