The Lady Crusaders entered the Regionals with a .500 record at 10-10 after sweeping a make-up of a double-header against El Dorado last Thursday at Worden Park. Wellington survived a nail-biter in the first game, prevailing 4-3, and in the nightcap, held off a late El Dorado rally to win 6-4.
Six senior ladies played their last regular season game in a Wellington uniform Thursday night. They were Jenna Rausch, Avery Rusk, Gracie Fink, Emily Templeton, Annika DeJarnett, and Ashlyn Sparks. Head coach TD Buck sang their praises. “They’ve been great leaders and wonderful young women to coach,” said coach Buck at the end of nightcap.
It was the underclassmen, however, getting things goining in the first inning of the opener with frosh Rylee Rusk leading off with a double. Junior Jacelyn Buck smacked a two-bagger of her own to drive home Rusk with the first run of the game.
The Lady Wildcats tied the game in the third inning and would take the lead on a home run by Lexee Hughey in the top of the sixth.
The senior leadership would assert itself in the home half of the sixth as Avery Rusk opened with a single to center followed by Gracie Fink gaining first base courtesy of an error. Delaney Parkey moved the runners over and McKenna Jones’ sac fly tied the game for Wellington. Lexi Clift’s RBI single put the Lady Dukes up by a run, 3-2
After El Dorado tied the score in the seventh, it was Wellington pitcher Brooke McCorkle reaching first base on an error with one out, followed by a Rusk double to move the winning run to third. Fink walked to load the bases and with two outs Jones delivered the game-winning RBI single to give the Lady Dukes the 4-3 win.
El Dorado struck first in the nightcap with two runs in the first inning off Wellington starter Annika DeJarnett. Wellington gained the runs back in the second inning on a Parkey single followed by two Lady Wildcat errors and a Rylee Rusk single to knot the score at two.
DeJarnett settled in and blanked the opposition hitters the rest of the way and in the fifth inning McCorkle singled with one out and Avery Rusk forced another El Dorado error off her bat and Wellington was in business.
Fink cashed in the runs with a three-run homer and the Lady Dukes took a 5-2 lead into the late innings.
The bottom of the sixth saw Rylee Rusk take a HBP with two outs and after Buck walked, McCorkle brought home Rusk with an single to run the score to 6-2.
It would get interesting in the seventh with McCorkle coming on in relief of DeJarnett. Two Wellington errors put two on with nobody out and after a single scored one and a ground out plated another run El Dorado had pulled within two, 6-4. McCorkle buckled down though to get the final two outs, the last coming on a strikeout.
Coach Buck was pleased with the resiliency of his squad. “If we do the 3 fundementals; Pitch well out of the Circle, Play defense, and Hit, we can play with most teams,” said Buck.
First game.
El Dorado     0  0  1  0  0   1  1    3
Wellington    1  0  0  0  0  2  1    4
Second game
   El Dorado    2  0  0  0  0  0  2    4
  Wellington    0  2  0  0  3  1  x     6