(Editor's note: Miles Community College media releases)
GLENDIVE -- Kelealani Waiau blasted a two-out two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to help the Miles Community College Pioneers to a come-from-behind 8-7 win over defending champion Dawson in the Region XIII West softball championship on Thursday.
Dawson got off to the quick start with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The Pioneers grabbed a 3-2 lead in the top of the second on the strength of a three-run home run by Abby Johnson. Dawson turned the tides again in the bottom of the third inning when Deven Creech hit a grand slam in a five-run inning that gave the Buccaneers a 7-3 lead. MCC rallied once again in the top of the fifth inning when Tessa Della Silva drove in a run with a single to left field plating Reagan Harper. Autumn Porter followed that up with a RBI single to center field that scored Taylor Woolley. Olivia Cook then singled to left field plating Della Silva and cutting the Dawson lead to 7-6.
The Pioneers had a chance to tie the score with a runner on third and one out in the top of the sixth, but Johnson was caught trying to steal home. The dramatic seventh inning started with one out when Porter hit an infield single. Cook struck out and sent Waiau to the plate who hit a two-run homer for the 8-7 lead. Waiau then got Fallon Marshall to fly out to left field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, and the celebration was on for the Pioneers.
Kassidy Kinzie started in the circle and gave up seven runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout in 2.2 innings pitched. She was replaced with Hazel Eaton, who threw a solid four innings without allowing a run and giving up five hits and one walk while striking out one. Waiau came in for Eaton and walked a batter to load the bases before getting the final out.
The Pioneers advance to the Region XIII Playoffs in Rosemount, Minnesota, for a four-team playoff on Sunday and Monday. Dawson, Bay College (Michigan) and Dakota County Tech (Minnesota) are the other teams in the playoff.
The playoff will be at the home of Dakota County Technical College
MCC will kick off the playoffs as the No. 1 seed from the West and face Bay College, the No. 2 East seed, at 10 a.m. Sunday. No. 2 West seed Dawson will play No. 1 East seed Dakota County Tech.
The winner will advance to the super regional and play the Region XIA winner in a best-of-three series for the North Plains B championship and a trip to the NJCAA DII World Series in Oxford, Alabama.