CENTERVILLE – There is something about the Miami East softball team that is special. No matter who the Vikings play and the record of their opponents, Miami East always seems to dig down deep to find a way to win big games.
It has happened in big games throughout the regular season that led to a sharing a league championship with Covington and then again in come-from-behind wins over Springfield Shawnee and Waynesville in the tournament, which set up a showdown with unbeaten Carlisle on Wednesday in the regional semifinal at Centerville High School.
And Miami East, now 19-6 on the season, continued to show its mental toughness by knocking off Carlisle for the second straight year with a thrilling 4-3 victory to advance to the regional final against Indian Lake, 25-3, on Friday at 5:00pm at Centerville.
Carlisle opened up the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second, but Miami East tied the game in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by Abigail Kadel that scored Reagan Howell.
Miami East fell behind again in the bottom of the fourth as Carlisle scored a run to take a 2-1 lead, but once again Miami East reclaimed the momentum with a huge three-run inning in the top of the fifth.
Keira Kirby and Rachel Haak both drew walks that set up an RBI single by Abigail Kadel that scored Kirby to tie the game at 2-2. Jacqueline Kadel followed with a two-run double that scored Haak and her sister Abigail Kadel to give the Lady Vikings a 4-2 lead.
Carlisle was able to cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run by Chyla Miller, but the rest of the game became a pitching a defense dual.
The big defensive play for Miami East came in the bottom of the seventh when Carlisle had a runner in scoring position with one out. The Lady Vikings were able to end the game with a double play. Pitcher Jacqueline Kadel snagged a shot back at her and then threw the ball to Maddie Maxson for the first out. Maxson then threw to Reagan Howell at third to gun down the Carlisle runner for a game-ending double play.
Overall, Miami East tallied eight hits and drew three walks at critical times.
Sophomore hurler Jacqueline Kadel was phenomenal in the circle as she allowed just five hits against a very good Carlisle team.