Raiders’ victory over Bombers could be prelude to sectional showdown

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MACOMB, Ill. — Until we meet again. And there is a strong chance it will happen.

With the Quincy Notre Dame and Macomb softball teams each the top seed in their respective regionals, the idea Wednesday’s game will evolve into a postseason rematch lingered, especially after the Raiders scored twice in the seventh inning to put away a 6-3 victory.

Macomb (19-3) is playing host to a Class 2A regional, while QND (18-3) will travel to Canton for regional play. The winner of each regional is slated to advance to the QND Sectional, which will be played at The Backyard.

This time, the Raiders struck first.

Abbey Schreacke hit a one-out home run in the top of the first to give QND a 1-0 lead. Macomb answered in the third when Ainsley Holthaus singled with one out, but was thrown out at home trying to score on Natalie Nicholson’s double. Sarah Stufflebeam followed with a double to center field to plate Nicholson with the tying run.

In the fifth, the Raiders broke the tie. Brooke Boden led off with a walk, an error on a sacrifice bunt but two runners on base and a pair of stolen bases moved them into scoring position. Addi Zanger drove them both in with a one-out double. Laela Hernandez-Jones singled to score Zanger for a 4-1 lead.

The Bombers battled back. With one in the bottom of the fifth and runners at the corners, Nicholson stole home on the back end of a double steal. Allison Stortzum followed with a single to center field to plate another run and draw Macomb within 4-3.

In the seventh, Zanger led off with a single, went to second on a passed ball, was sacrificed to third and scored on a grounder. With two outs, Caitlin Bunte walked and Schreacke followed with an RBI single for a three-run lead.

Bunte allowed two singles in the bottom of the seventh, but worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to Schreacke at shortstop to end the game.

Schreacke, Zanger and Hernandez-Jones each had two hits for the Raiders, while Carlee Gilker and Caitlin Bunte split time in the circle. Nicholson went 4 for 4 with two runs scored for the Bombers, while Holthaus and Ellie Duncan had two hits apiece. Kenadee Allensworth took the loss, striking out seven and walking six.

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