Blue Ridge Softball Reaches Sectional Finals with Win over Central A&M

DOWNS, Ill. -- Melinda Wilson hit 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Kalyn Reynolds drove in two more runs as the Lady Knights earned a trip to the Tri-Valley Sectional championship game with an 8-1 win over Central A&M.

Jordan Wheeler increased her record on the mound to 22-4, striking out 12 Raiders and allowing one run on four hits.

At the plate, Blue Ridge (28-5) opened the game with four runs in the first inning. After Jordan Wheeler reached on an error, Wilson drove her in with a single to right field for the opening run.

Jade O'Neal hit a single prior to Wilson's at-bat. After Hannah Mattingly walked, Jamison Brandt reached first base on an error at third; Brandt scored Alana Strum, who ran as a courtesy to O'Neal.

Reynolds picked up one of her two RBIs with a first-inning single that sent Wilson home. Mattingly increased the Lady Knights' lead to 4-0 by scoring on a fielder's choice.

Reynolds walked in the fourth inning. Liz Cordes bunted, resulting in an error by the Central A&M first baseman.

Jordyn Fones singled and was driven home on an RBI single by Wheeler.

Blue Ridge later scored two more runs. Brandt hit an RBI single to score Wilson, who singled, and Reynolds drove in Brandt with a single of her own.

Reynolds finished the game hitting 2-for-2.

Central A&M's only run was scored in the sixth inning. Torey Hoffman drove in Kelsey Lowry, who walked.

"We played OK, but I know we can play better," Blue Ridge coach Myron Schroeder said.

The Lady Knights will need to bring their A-game to Downs on Saturday at 11 a.m., as they will face the Illinois Coaches Association's Class 1A No. 1-ranked team in Danville Schlarman.

Schlarman beat No. 20-ranked Tuscola 3-2 prior to Blue Ridge's game against Central A&M. In their previous meeting with the Hilltoppers, the Lady Knights lost 15-10 despite two home runs by Wheeler.

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