Mount Carmel won it's play-in game Monday against the Carmi-White County Bulldogs, 9-5, in a Class 2A softball regional contest.

Lexie Simmons pitched a complete game in the circle allowing 12 hits, five runs, three earned, striking out four and walking none.

Faith Fuller was 1-for-3 that included a three-RBI double in a seven-run third inning for the Lady Aces.

"It's been a long time since we've hit the ball that well all the way up and down the lineup," said Mount Carmel coach Kyle Buss. "One through nine, I think everyone had a hit, or at least hit the ball hard and that's what we've been looking for these last few days."

Mount Carmel advanced to Tuesday's semifinal at the Benton Regional against Fairfield where the Lady Aces' season ended with a 7-0 loss to the Lady Mules.

Mount Carmel trailed early after the Bulldogs scored twice in the top of the first inning. The Lady Aces managed to cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the first as Mount Carmel trailed, 2-1.

"That first inning we didn't look like ourselves and to be down 2-0, and instead of having doubt creeping up in their minds we came up and scratched a run across and loaded the bases again in the second inning," said Buss. "We really thought we were hitting the ball well enough and their pitcher was struggling enough throwing strikes, so we knew we were going to have opportunities to score runs if we just stuck with it."

Then, in the third, the Lady Aces added seven runs to take an 8-2 lead.

"We really spent a lot of time in the cages on Saturday and Sunday working on swings and the types of swings you need to be swinging when you have a 0-2 count compared to a 3-1 count. I think the girls are really starting to catch on to that," said Buss.

Allyson Armstrong opened the third inning with a single then was replaced on the bases by courtesy runner Paige Hocking.

Maddie Merritt reached on an error and Hocking scored to tie the game on a single from Sierra Hannah.

After a groundout advances Merritt to third base and Hannah to second, Lexie Schneider walked to load the bases for Fuller, who hit a three-RBI double into the left-field corner to put Mount Carmel on top, 5-2.

After a pitching change, Addison Drone pushed a bunt past the infield allowing Fuller to score from second for a 6-2 Aces' lead. Ella Banks walked moving Drone to second, and Simmons singled to score Drone for a 7-2 lead.

The final run of the inning came off a sacrifice fly from Merritt allowing Banks to score to put the Lady Aces on top, 8-2.

"We work on situations all the time," said Buss. "When you have the lead, you'll trade a run for an out late in the game like that to where we don't want a big inning to occur. We'll give them one run for an out and trade runs for outs in that situation all the time."

Merritt finished 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Hannah finished 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

Drone was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI while Simmons finished 1-for-3 with an RBI.

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