FLORA -- Currently on a 13-year running drought without a Softball Regional Championship, Mount Carmel is eyeing to snap that drought this season and took one step closer to that goal on Tuesday in Flora.
Freshman Kami Pearson knocked a walk-off base hit to left center field to give the Lady Aces a 2-1 lead and advance Mount Carmel to the Regional Championship.
Mount Carmel boasted a 1-0 deficit from the second inning through the sixth inning, but sophomore Faith Fuller kept the Lady Aces in it. Fuller hurled possibly her best outing of the season given the stage. She tossed a complete game (eight innings), allowing just one run on four hits and fanning two batters.
With one out and a runner on second in the sixth, Pearson scored the first run of the game for the Lady Aces on a sacrifice fly to right field, which scored freshman Stormie Devine on a Lawrenceville (9-13) throwing error.
Now, with the game knotted at 1-1, the Lady Aces were looking to lock themselves in with a Regional Championship berth. Devine started the inning with a walk and eventually made it to third on a couple wild pitches. With Devine on third, Pearson stepped to the plate and slashed the game-winning hit to left center off the Lady Indians pitcher, giving the Lady Aces a 2-1 victory.
Pearson was the most notable hitter of the day, totaling a 1-for-3 line at the plate with the two RBIs. Devine posted a a great day as well, going 1-for-3 with a double and a couple of runs scored.
It's been an incredible year for Mount Carmel (10-12) overall. The Lady Aces' contributions have come entirely from underclassmen, many of which being freshmen. They should be set to compete at a high level for several years to come even if this year isn't destined to be the one in which they claim the region crown.
The victory advances Mount Carmel to the Regional Championship, which they'll hope to claim for the first time since 2006. In order to do so, Mount Carmel will have to defeat the hosts, Flora (8-13). It should be a winnable game for the Lady Aces. First pitch is slated for 4:30 p.m. on Friday as they seek to end their drought.