Home-field advantage did not help the Class 2A regional host Midwest Central softball team Wednesday afternoon.
The No.4-seeded Tremont Turks walked off thanks to an RBI double by Allie Ramlo in the bottom of the seventh inning to catapult them to a 9-8 dramatic victory and a chance at a regional championship at 11 a.m Saturday.
Ramlo was hitless, but she came through at the right time for the Turks.
“I think Allie was disappointed with a couple of her at-bats earlier and I’m not going to say that I wasn’t, but before that at bat I told her, ‘You were saving it all for this one at bat’ just to clear her head and give her positive thoughts,” Tremont head coach Skip Penning said.
Ramlo drove in Jenna Gingrich, who singled with one out in the inning to get the Turks started and finished with two RBIs in the game.
Tremont led 6-2 after the second inning with the help of a towering home run out to left field by senior Lauren Hartman.
Hartman led the Turks at the plate going 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Stephanie Williams also chipped in at the dish, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.
The Raiders didn’t give up.
Midwest Central scored four runs in the top half of the fourth inning to tie the game at six.
Alison Trettin was hit by a pitch to start the rally and Sydney Duncan singled to put the Raiders in business with no outs.
Midwest Central scored its first run of the inning thanks to suicide squeeze attempt by Alexis Lee, bringing Trettin home from third base.
With Lee safe on the play, Meghan Galvin sacrificed herself to move runners to second and third base with one out.
Audrey Farnam singled home one of two base runners on the day drawing Tremont’s lead within two. Farnam was clutch for the Raiders finishing, 2-for-4 with two RBIs that helped keep the Raiders in the game.
Maddie Singley came to the plate with intentions to move Farnam to second, but the third run of the inning scored from third on the sacrifice bunt attempt.
Emily Terrill entered the batters box and tied the game with a two-out RBI single. The Raiders lead-off hitter finished the game 2-for-4, including a double and a run scored.
“I’m proud of these girls,” Midwest Central head coach Skipp Reining said.
Tremont would not give away the momentum.
The Turks scored one run in the bottom half of the fourth inning to retake the lead.
Midwest Central tied the game again in each of the final two innings, but Tremont responded back each time.
“That’s a good team there,” Reining said. “They beat us three times this year. We thought we were a little bit more comparable. We thought tonight was about what it was. Both of us can score a lot, and to their credit it came down to some big swings and we had a chance. They got their big swing and we didn’t, so that’s the way it goes.”
The Turks, who have not lost since April 29 at Fisher, were unable to gain control of the game.
“Today, (Midwest Central) deserved to win the game,” Penning said. “I thought their pitcher threw a good game against us. She kept us off balance. We didn’t have our best day today, but as I told the kids — ‘We live today and play on Saturday, so it doesn’t matter what kind of game we had today.’ We just learn from whatever we think we did wrong, keep the right things going, and lets come back Saturday and play a different game.”
Tremont will play the winner between the regional No.1-seeded Illini West (22-9) and Beardstown (14-16).
“We don’t really fret too much on who the opponent is,” Penning said. “It’s about doing what we’ve done all year long. We can control what we can control and our big motto is playing seven innings. If we didn’t play seven innings (today), we don’t even get to play Saturday. So whoever the opponent is on Saturday, we’ll come back and hopefully we have a different game against them.”