Jimtown rallies, but falls just short of regional championship

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Once again, Jimtown found themselves trailing heading to the bottom of the 7th.

They were in the same situation in the sectional championship, trailing Knox 3-2 before rallying to win 4-3. But against Hanover Central in the 3A regional championship, the comeback bid fell just short.

The Jimmies led 4-3 in the 6th, before the Wildcats took the lead with a couple base hits to make it 5-4. They added three more runs in the top of the 7th to extend their lead to 8-4. It seemed bleak for Jimtown, but the team never quit.

Julia Bowman got things started on the very first pitch, knocking a fly ball to right that fell in and out of the right fielder's glove. Then, it was Isabel Ortega who came through, driving one through the infield for a single, and advancing Bowman to 3rd. Ortega also advanced to 2nd while Hanover Central tried to throw out Bowman.

With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Gabby Desimone - the hero of the sectional championship - grounded out to third but drove in Bowman to cut the deficit to 8-5. After a strikeout by Morgan Weesner, Jimtown was down to their final out.

That didn't phase the next Jimtown batter, sophomore Cearia Woods, who smacked one down the line in left field that landed just fair and rolled all the way to the fence, driving in another run to make it a two-run game.

The Jimmies scored on the next at-bat as well, making it an 8-7 game with the tying run on third and the winning run on second. Unfortunately for Jimtown, that's where the rally ended, as Jessica Alvey grounded out to third to end the game.

"Our athletic director told them they were the comeback kids in sectionals, so we were hoping for it," Jimtown softball coach Brandy Eberhart said. "I thought it was a little out of reach, and then they proved me wrong. They got down, they came back, and they never gave up. I commend them for that."

This season, Jimtown won their first softball sectional title since 2011, and Eberhart said she was very proud of how far her team has come.

"They were great," Eberhart said. "They weren't together at the beginning of the year and they came together very strong at the end, and I can't wait till next year already."

Jimtown finishes the season 16-7.