By FRED KRONER
Senior Kameryn Brotherton drilled a two-out, two-run double to left-center field in the bottom of the seventh inning on Wednesday, capping a comeback for the Mahomet-Seymour softball team which assured the program of no worse than a .500 season record.
Brotherton’s walk-off double accounted for the tying and winning runs in a 6-5 triumph over visiting Rantoul in a Class 3A regional semifinal game.
The victory sends the Bulldogs (15-14) into Saturday’s 11 a.m. regional championship game on the Bulldogs’ field against Rochester (21-12). M-S has a four-game winning streak.
Rantoul finishes its season with a 14-19 record.
M-S trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Bulldogs scored three runs that inning and allowed one in the top of the seventh before completing the comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning with three more runs.
The win enabled M-S to match its victory total from the previous two seasons combined.
Cleanup hitter Brotherton and Ashley Campbell led the seven-hit M-S attack with two hits apiece.
Brotherton had three RBI. Campbell drove in two runs. Layne Acree had the team’s other RBI.
Aubrie Shore pitched a complete-game three-hitter, allowing two earned runs. She walked four batters and struck out 10.
The most successful girls’ soccer team in school history ended its season on Tuesday with the most successful player in school history watching from the sidelines.
Top-seeded Springfield ousted Mahomet-Seymour with a 2-1 Class 2A sectional semifinal decision.
UI recruit Meredith Johnson-Monfort — who set the M-S school record with 43 goals as a senior — was sidelined after sustaining an injury to her left ankle in the regional finals three days earlier.
Springfield led 1-0 at halftime, but the Bulldogs scored the equalizer when Maddy Wade rebounded her penalty kick and deposited the ball in the goal in the 19th minute of the second half.
The Senators (15-9-1) scored the clincher in the final 4 minutes in a game played at Urbana High School.
Sarah Hohenstein had a season-high 12 saves for the Bulldogs (21-3).
“The first 10 to 20 minute, we were on our heels,” retiring M-S coach Joey Gruner said. “I don’t think we faced a team all year that played that fast.
“It took us a while to adjust to it.”
Springfield had the most scoring opportunities, outshooting the Bulldogs, 16-4.
Gruner said it was impossible to calculate the effect of Johnson-Monfort’s absence.
“Everyone can speculate,” he said. “We had to play people in different positions.
“When you move one starter, you change someone to their position and that changes your subbing rotation. Who knows whether that changes the outcome?”
All three of M-S’ losses this season were by 2-1 scores. No opponent scored more than two goals against the Bulldogs’ defense.
For the year, M-S held a 107-15 edge over its opponents on goals scored.
“When you look at the whole body of work, it says a lot about the team,” Gruner said.
On Wednesday, Gruner met with the school’s underclassmen he said, to “try and inspire them.”
Next year’s M-S squad will face a double transition, moving forward with a new head coach and without the school’s career scoring leader.
“I think there’s a lot of good things ahead for this program,” Gruner said. “I’m hoping the group here picks up where we left off, and keep going.”
Champaign Central put runs on the scoreboard each of the first five innings and eliminated M-S with an 8-3 win on Wednesday in a Class 3A regional semifinal game at Illinois Field.
M-S (17-9) scored a run in the top of the first, but never regained the lead after the Maroons broke a 1-1 tie during a three-run second inning.
Central (22-14) will play Mount Zion in Saturday’s 11 a.m. championship game at Champaign’s McKinley Field.
Tanner Kirts (6-2) suffered the loss in a game where Central out-hit M-S, 8-6. Kirts issued four walks in his two-inning stint.
He was followed to the mound by Kyle Mumm and Cory Noe.
In addition to pitchers combining to issue six walks, the Bulldog defense committed four errors.
Brooks Coetzee and Kyle Kinney led the M-S offense with two hits apiece.
“They made plays and we didn’t,” M-S coach Nic DiFilippo said. “Tonight, they were better than us.
“You couldn’t ask for a better facility or a better night to play.”
Central’s Cameron Robinson pitched a complete game although M-S put on pressure in the final inning.
The Bulldogs scored once in the seventh inning and had the bases loaded before Robinson ended the game on a fly ball out.