The season came to an early Wednesday for the Pekin baseball and softball teams.
Each team lost in a run-rule game.
Normal West beat Pekin 11-0 in baseball in the Class 4A Normal Community Regional semifinals. Normal Community beat Pekin 10-0 in softball in the Class 4A Normal West Regional semifinals.
The baseball game lasted just 4 1/2 innings.
Normal West scored all 11 runs and had all 10 of its hits in two innings. The Wildcats (22-14) piled up six runs in the third and five runs in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Normal West pitcher McCabe Brown allowed only one hit, a third-inning double by Michael Ellwanger. Brown struck out 12 and walked four.
Nathan Righi and Cade Edmiston pitched for Pekin.
The Dragons finished 12-14.
They were 5-9 in the Mid-Illini Conference, in sixth place in the eight-team league. Their biggest conference win, a 2-1 victory over Washington, essentially ruined the Panthers’ chances of making a run at the Mid-Illini title.
“We had some well-pitched games this season,” said Pekin coach Larry Davis, noting gems by Righi, Edmiston, Bryson Swift and Evan Pogioli.
“Our biggest problem was putting together a big inning offensively. That put a lot of pressure on our pitching and defense,” Davis said.
Pekin softball coach Skip Penning praised Normal Community and its Illinois State-bound pitcher, Mackenzie Nelson, after the Dragons (8-14) were sent to the sidelines.
“Sometimes you take your hats off to the other team,” Penning said. “This was a good game for 3 1/2 innings. We held them off as long as we could. They were the better team (Wednesday).
“We lost, but it wasn’t something we did. It was what they did.”
Normal Community led Pekin only 1-0 through 3 1/2 innings. Then the Iron scored five runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth, and that was it.
Nelson allowed only two hits — a double by Erin Flairty and a single by Molly Flannigan — fanned nine and didn’t walk anyone.
Reece Johnson drove in four runs for Normal Community and Ella Fletcher had three RBIs.
Steve Stein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.