Tanagers Edge Warrensburg in Class D Opener

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By Keith Harrington

Survive and Advance. That’s the strategy during the playoffs. The score doesn’t matter. Just secure the win and move on to the next round. That’s exactly what the Hartford softball team did on Thursday.

No. 4 Hartford rallied in the bottom of the seventh to win on a walk-off hit from eighth grader Silver Stewart, edging Warrensburg 3-2 in a Class D opening found game at Moreau Rec.

Hartford scored a run in the bottom of the first on an Ava Nadeau double to take a 1-0 lead. The Tanagers made that advantage hold up until the bottom of the seventh as their ace Raeghan Liebig dueled with Warrensburg’s Hope Sherman.

In the top half of the final frame, Zailey Baker and Sherman both reached on bloop singles into shallow right and left fields. A deep sac fly to left allowed Baker to score to tie the game at 1-1. Sherman then scored on a fielder’s choice to hand the Burghers a 2-1 lead.

The Tanagers rallied in the bottom of the stanza. Brynn Tyler hit a single to right-center. Tyler then stole second. Euber laid down a bunt which was overthrown at first, allowing Tyler to score. Euber moved to second on the throw. Euber then stole third. Cailin Severance drew a walk and stole second.

That brought Stewart to the plate. Stewart fouled off a pitch then hit a line drive just over the second baseman’s glove to score Euber in the walk-off win for Hartford.

Liebig earned the win in the circle, spinning a 3-hitter and striking out nine. Liebig was also 1 for 3 at the plate.

Nadeau was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI for the Tanagers.

Sherman took the pitching loss for the Burghers, striking out six.

Both Sherman and Baker were 1 for 3 for Warrensburg. Maddie Goodspeed added a hit for the Burghers.

Hartford advances to face No. 1 Salem in the semifinals back at Moreau Rec. Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Hartford is now 9-6. Warrensburg finishes 7-12.

Photo Credit-Dave Jensen