MAPLE CITY — Courtney Bower scored the winning run on an error in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday, lifting Frankfort to a dramatic 6-5 victory over Bellaire in the championship game of a Division IV softball regional at Glen Lake High School.
It was the first regional championship for Frankfort, 24-14, since the Panthers captured the second of back-to-back titles in 2007.
The Panthers trailed the Eagles, 5-0, entering the bottom of the sixth inning, then scored five runs to tie it. Bower delivered the big blow, a two-out, two-run triple that drew Frankfort to 5-4. Keelan Kelly followed with a single which scored Bower to tie the game at 5-all.
Bower then smacked a two-out triple in the eighth and scored the winning run when Kelly’s sharply hit grounder went for an error.
Kelly, Katie Gokey and Aleah Hunt finished with two hits apiece. Hunt struck out five and allowed three hits in earning the victory.
Hunt struck out four in tossing a five-hitter as Frankfort downed Mesick, 10-2, in a semifinal game.
Bower singled and doubled to lead the Panthers at the play, while MacKenna Kelly and Kolby Spencley added two hits apiece.
Frankfort will play Rogers City in a state quarterfinal on Tuesday at Traverse City West. Game time is scheduled for noon.
The Hurons won the regional at Sault Ste. Marie, beating Rapid River, 6-3, in the championship game.
Rogers City downed Posen, 9-8, in its regional semifinal.
State power Gladstone used solid pitching to win the Division 3 softball regional at St. Elizabeth Seton.
The Braves (28-2) beat Boyne City 9-2 and Tawas 4-1 to advance to Tuesday’s quarterfinals. Tawas reached the championship game with an 11-1 five-inning win over St. Francis.
Gladstone has played in the state title game four of the last five years, winning it all in 2009.
Cadillac bowsto Escanaba
Host Cadillac bowed to Escanaba, 4-0, in a Division II regional semifinal on Saturday.
Escanaba won the regional witha 5-4 victory over Remus Chippewa Hills.