DALE — Top-ranked Dale had one of its toughest challenges of the year Thursday, outlasting Pawnee 3-1 in 10 innings in a regional tournament winners bracket matchup.
Victorious pitcher Delanie Manning struck out 15 batters in 10 innings. She permitted only four hits and didn’t walk a batter.
“She was as good as I’ve ever seen her,” Dale coach Andy Powell said of Manning. “We needed her to be because Pawnee has one of the top three or four pitchers in our class.”
Sara Llamas-Howell of Pawnee gave up eight hits while fanning 10 Lady Pirates.
“Howell throws it really hard,” Powell said. “This was the toughest regional we’ve had in a number of years. I don’t have any idea why they are unranked. We may have to beat her again Friday.”
Pawnee and Stroud will tangle in a noon elimination game today with the winner taking on Dale at 2. Dale (35-1) needs just one victory to advance to next week’s state tournament. The Pawnee-Stroud winner would have to defeat Dale twice to advance.
Both teams opened the scoring with a sixth-inning run. Dale’s run was unearned.
Dale broke the 1-1 deadlock with two runs in the top of the 10th. Emmie Idleman’s two-out single served as the game-winning hit. The third run scored when Lacey Savage’s grounder was booted.
Idleman and Rylie Premo had two singles apiece.
Dale opened regional play with a 9-2 win over the Crescent Lady Tigers Thursday afternoon. .
“This was a pretty frustrating performance,” Powell said. “We weren't really focused to start the game. We shook off some of that rust late in the game. We weren't waiting on pitches but it was good to start off with a win.”
The Lady Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Manning drove in Mikayla Rutland on a base knock Jobey Savage scored on a sacrifice fly by Sydney Griggs.
Crescent was able to get back in the game as Tessa Gage drove in Mariah Lovett and Katie Cronsiter.
Manning gave the Lady Pirates a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth when she blasted a double to deep left center that allowed Rutland and Savage to come home.
– Fred Fehr contributed to this story
Skyler Thompson made her first appearance since Aug. 29 after suffering a knee injury against Maud. In the bottom of the sixth, in Thompson's second plate appearance, she recorded a double that scored Griggs and Montana Lam as Dale took a commanding 9-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Dale's Sara Lock was brought in to pinch hit with two two on and two out and recorded a double that scored Griggs and London Calvillo, extending Dale's lead to 6-2. The next batter, Rutland, had an RBI single giving the Lady Pirates a 7-2 lead.
Dale's starting pitcher, Rylee Premo, went three innings and gave up five hits, struck out one and walked one.
Manning was brought in to pitch in the top half of the fourth inning. She was able to pick up the win, going three innings and striking out eight.
Danyn Lang picked up the save after she struck out two in the top of the seventh.
Rutland was 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBI and one walk. Manning went 2-3 with a single, double and two RBI. Lock was 1-2 with two RBI and a double. Thompson added one hit and drove in two.