It took all of five innings for the Washington softball team to officially kick off its battle to a back-to-back IHSA Class 3A state championship.
Washington advanced to the regional championship with an 11-1 win over Bloomington High School in five innings in the Class 3A Washington Regional semifinal game Tuesday.
The Panthers trailed 1-0 after the first inning, but the bats woke up when it mattered most.
“They picked it up after the first inning and started being more disciplined at the plate,” Washington head coach Stephanie Ramsey said.
Washington owned a commanding 5-1 lead after the third inning behind a Morgan Osborn RBI single followed by a Savannah Budd two-run double.
A five-run fifth inning ended the game thanks to a Madi McCoy three-run home run to seal the victory.
The home run was her 15th of the season.
The senior cruised to her 25th win in the circle, fanning 10 Purple Raiders on the day.
McCoy, who struck out in her first two at bats, had the last words of the day powering the Panthers to the regional championship game where they will play Peoria Notre Dame at 11 a.m. Saturday for a chance to move on to the sectional semifinal.
“No matter who we play in postseason, they are going to be good and competitive,” Ramsey said. “We have to be ready to go from the start.”
The Irish (23-9) advance to the regional championship after a dramatic 11-10 win over Normal University Tuesday. Rileigh Johnson hit a walk-off two-run home run to keep Notre Dame’s season alive.
The Panthers played Notre Dame on April 18 — a 4-0 win for Washington and a no-hitter for McCoy.
The win extended Washington’s winning streak to 27 games.