GOOSE LAKE – Visiting Wilton had a big sixth inning.
But so did the Northeast softball team.
And the Rebels’ half of the inning proved to be even better.
The Beavers – ranked seventh in Class 2A – scored twice in the sixth to pull within a run of their hosts.
But Northeast opened the bottom of the sixth with a home run and scored eight times to pull away for good in an 11-2 victory.
Alexis Ehlers opened the Rebels’ half of the frame with a bang with her home run to left-center, and Northeast quickly loaded the bases on singles by Claire Abbott and Makenna McDonald, with a Bree Mangelsen walk sandwiched in between.
A Wilton error brought in Abbott and kept the bases loaded for Audrey Morris, who singled to left to plate two more runs.
Abby Boyer followed with her own RBI-single and so did Kayelee Hansen before Ehlers capped off the big inning she started with a two-run double to make it 11-2.
The Rebels jumped in front immediately as lead-off batter Neveah Hildebrandt socked a solo home run to open the first game.
Abbott added a second run on a McDonald double later in the inning, and Northeast made it 3-0 in the fifth when Boyer doubled in Valerie Spooner.
The Rebels (18-12 overall, 9-8 in River Valley play) pounded out 19 hits, picking up four apiece from McDonald and Ehlers. Hildebrandt had three hits, with Morris and Boyer coming up with two apiece.
Ehlers drove in a team-high three runs, while Morris and Boyer both had two RBIs and Abbott and Spooner both scored twice.
Alyssa Pessman earned the victory, allowing just four hits in five innings of work with one strikeout.
Rebels to host Cascade
in regional opener
Northeast is set to begin its quest for a state softball berth Wednesday with a 2A Region 6 quarterfinal against Cascade at Goose Lake.
The two teams split their River Valley North doubleheader, with each winning a slugfest – the Rebels brought home a 17-14 victory and the Cougars (15-15) came away with a 9-8 win.
A victory would put the Rebels in action again Friday for a semifinal contest in Dyersville.
Beckman Catholic looks like the probable foe. The 10th-ranked Blazers (24-12) will play the winner of North Cedar and Clayton Ridge in the other quarterfinal.
Durant – the second-ranked team in Class 2A – earned the top seed in the region and looms as the likely opponent in the regional final.