Your Prep Sports
West Branch nearly pulled off the upset of the softball postseason for the second time in three seasons on Wednesday.
For the second consecutive season the upset bid from the Bears came up just short against Louisa-Muscatine.
Kylee Sanders plated Mae Cox with a game-winning, two-out double in the bottom of the ninth inning as Class 2A third-ranked Louisa-Muscatine edged West Branch 2-1 in a Region 7 quarterfinal on Wednesday in Letts.
Louisa-Muscatine advanced to the Region 7 semifinal with the win and will host Regina (17-12)
on Friday at 7 p.m.
West Branch closed the season at 16-16.
Two seasons ago West Branch stunned defending 2A runner-up Regina in the quarterfinals.
Last year the Bears built and 4-0 lead against second-ranked Louisa-Muscatine before falling 6-5 in eight innings.
It was more heartbreak for West Branch against the Falcons on Wednesday.
West Branch was down to its final strike in the seventh inning trailing 1-0 when Maddy Hatfield tied the game with an RBI single to center field that scored senior Nicki Henson.
Lexi Klinkkammer followed with a single by Piper Brant got Lanie Meyer to fly out to second to end the inning.
West Branch sophomore Hannah Schiele, who was excellent all game, worked around one-out singles in both the seventh and eighth inning as the game remained tied 1-1 into the ninth.
Cox singled with two-out in the ninth to set the stage for Sanders who provided the game-winner.
Sanders also earned the win in the circle striking out four in two hitless innings of relief.
Schiele took the loss allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking four in 8 2/3 stellar innings.
Hatfield went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Henson had two hits and scored a run to lead West Branch.
Klinkkammer and Iva Senio added hits for the Bears.
West Branch 000 000 100 – 1 7 0
Louisa-Muscatine 000 001 001 – 2 7 2
W – Kylee Sanders L – Hannah Schiele
2B – WB: Maddy Hatfield. L-M: Kylee Sanders