BERLIN- A single late-inning run was all the Decatur varsity softball team needed this week to top visiting Parkside and continue a five-game winning streak to close out the regular season.
The Seahawks had a handful of scoring chances throughout Monday’s home game with Parkside although base runners were few and far between. Meanwhile, Decatur starter Maddie Justice was dominant again on the mound as few Parkside batters reached base as inning after inning went by.
Decatur got it best chance to get on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning and took advantage of the opportunity. Alana Rush led off with a single and moved to second on a bunt single by Jessica Bunting, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Justice came to the plate and attempted to bunt the runners into scoring position, but her popped-up bunt was caught for the first out and the runners were forced to hold.
Both Decatur runners moved up on a double steal to put players on second and third with one out. Amanda Parsons then hit a grounder to third, allowing a run to score to give Decatur a 1-0 lead, but Bunting was out at third for the second out of the inning. Taylor Black then reached on an infield hit, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but Abby Schorr struck out to end the inning.
Despite all of that action on the bases, the Seahawks only scored one run in the inning, but it was enough to hold up for a 1-0 win. Justice shut down any hopes for a Parkside comeback in the top of the seventh, striking out the first two batters before getting the third and final out of the game on a come-backer to the mound.
With the win, the Seahawks improved to 15-2, including five straight wins and eight of their last nine to close out the regular season. When the state Class 3A-East brackets were released on Tuesday, Decatur was awarded with a number-two seed and a first round bye. The Seahawks will play the winner of the first round game between number-seven Bennett and number-10 Atholton.