By TYLER HENRY
Salina Post contributor
In the opening round of this year’s 3A state tournament, the Southeast of Saline softball team found themselves in a pitcher's duel but held on to win a thrilling walk-off over Burlington by a final score of 1-0.
With this win, the Lady Trojans advance to the state semis to take on a Rossville team that obliterated the 3-seed in Columbus 19-7 in the nightcap.
Baserunners came at a premium in this game as the two teams split eight hits, four walks, and a pair of errors perfectly down the middle.
It was an immaculate performance for both Lexi Jacobson, who took to the circle for SES, and Gracie Birk, who did the same for Burlington.
Neither pitcher allowed an earned run through 14 innings of play, with Birk fanning five Lady Trojans, and Jacobson setting down seven Yellowjackets.
With those two in complete control, neither team could scratch across so much as a single run through six and a half innings, but in the bottom of the seventh with one out, Bryna Baird delivered in the clutch, driving in Lexi Jacobson for the first, and only run of the ballgame.
The SES quest for a first-ever 3A state title remains very much alive at 22-2, and will resume on Friday with first pitch against Rossville scheduled for 11 AM on field 1.
For continuing coverage of Lady Trojan softball all postseason long, stay tuned to the Salina Post.