Mangham High School is headed to Sulphur after edging St. Charles Catholic 3-2 at the Comets’ field Saturday afternoon.
“We figured it would be this way,” Mangham coach Scott Wilcher said. “That’s been our deal all year, keep it close and win at the end.”
No. 9-seeded Mangham will play No. 1 Calvary Baptist on Friday at Frasch Park in Sulphur, while the loss ended the season for No. 8 St. Charles Catholic.
St. Charles Catholic took a 1-0 lead in the third when Leela Hill stretched a soft fly ball in shallow left into a double and scored on a double by Destiny Wesley.
Mangham answered in its next at-bat with Mangham all three of its runs in the fourth inning RBI singles by Cam Neatherly, Arrin Dye and Kara Wilcher keyed the inning.
Wilcher’s RBI proved to be the game-winner.
“I was nervous,” Wilcher said. “But once I stepped out on the field, I remembered it’s something I’ve been doing all my life, so it becomes just another game.”
Arrin Dye started the game for Mangham. Dye pitched 4.1 innings, giving up two runs. The second run was a solo homer by Maddie Cochran in the fifth inning.
Leann Franks relieved Dye and pitched the rest of the way.
The Comets threatened in the seventh inning, putting runners on first and second with one out. They looked like they would catch a break when Wilcher dropped a pop fly just out of the infield.
The infield fly rule had not been invoked, but Leela Hill did not immediately break from second base, and was forced out at third for the second out.
Franks struck out Caroline Julian to end the game.
“ I was very excited because I was able to take my team to the state tournament,” Franks said.
St. Charles Catholic had other opportunities in the first two innings, but its aggressive base running backfired.
Mangham catcher Graycen Dye tagged out two runners at the plate and threw out another at third in a rundown.
“We work (those plays) every single day,” Dye said. “Of course scoring is important but I know how the game (would have changed) if I hadn’t made those plays.”
Now it’s on to Sulphur for Mangham.
“We’re just going to go down there and play and see what happens,” Scott Wilcher said.
Wilcher’s son, Tye, is taking the same attitude.
“We’ll try our best,” he said. “That’s the thing that always counts.”