MONMOUTH— Lydia Rice is yet to make an out in these Class C South softball playoffs.

The Winthrop catcher is 7-for-7 in two games, including a 4-for-4 performance in a 9-0 victory over Monmouth in a regional semifinal Friday.

“This was the most complete game we’ve played all year,” said Winthrop coach Chuck Gurney, whose team improved to 10-8. “The girls came off the bus ready to play, and even if we were going to get beat today, we were not going down without a fight.”

The No. 6 Ramblers will play at No. 2 Madison on Saturday at 3 p.m. in a regional semifinal.

Rice finished with three singles and a double, while second-baseman Bella Littler came out of a five-game hitless slump for two RBIs in the first and third frames. Pitcher Lauryn Wood earned the win in a strong complete-game performance, striking out six. She also added an RBI single in the top of the fourth.

For No. 3 Monmouth (14-4), its closest scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the fifth when second-baseman Madi Herr seemingly drove home a run with a sacrifice fly. However, the run was quickly called off after umpires determined the baserunner had left the bag early. Pitcher Brooklyn Federico took the loss, despite a six-strikeout performance for the Mustangs.


“It was not our day,” said Monmouth coach Dave Kaplan. “But it sure was theres. They played a great game, Woods pitched probably her best game of the year.”

The two Mountain Valley Conference rivals met twice earlier this season, with Monmouth winning a pair of one-run contests thanks to late rallies.

It was a different story Friday.

Rice got the Ramblers off to a hot start with a deep warning track double in the game’s first at-bat. After a couple of walks, Littler drove home Lydia’s younger sister, Ella Rice, to make it a 2-0 game. Lydia Rice added another run in the second thanks to a Monmouth error.

The Rambler bats didn’t cool down.

In the third inning, first-baseman Annabelle Blais drove another runner home.

The final three Rambler runs all came in the fourth, thanks to a couple of RBI singles from shortstop Maddie Perkins and outfielder Ella Rice.

“They had beat us twice this year and we wanted to win this third time,” said Lydia Rice. “We came here super pumped up and our bats were on fire today. This is the best we’ve ever worked as a team.”

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