By GREG MENGELT
Providence led 9-3, let Henryville tie the game at nine apiece, then won it in the seventh inning on a Meredith Endris sacrifice fly.
The Pioneers will face Paoli, which beat Clarksville 13-3 in Monday’s second first-round game, in one semifinal today.
“We’re definitely happy to advance,” Providence coach Sean Payne said. “I was disappointed to see our team get satisfied, but any time you advance in the post season it’s good.”
Melinda Cochran opened the top of the seventh with a single. Pinch runner Jaclyn Endris then went to second on an Ashtyn Kaskie wild pitch. After moving to third on a Morgan Boone groundout, Jaclyn Endris scored on her sister’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Providence led 1-0 after a half-inning before the Hornets scored three times in the bottom of the first — thanks to a Emma Hendricks home run — to take their only lead. Providence scored five times in the third on RBI hits by Marlee Karem, Charly Wolford, Cochran and Boone to take a 7-3 lead. The Pioneers added two more before Henryville scored six times in the fifth.
Henryville scored all six runs with two outs in the inning.
Cochran went 3 for 3 with a pair of RBIs and Meredith Endris, Lillian Hughes, Karem and Wolford had two hits apiece for Providence. Endris scored twice and had an RBI and Hughes had a pair of doubles.
Providence beat Paoli 6-4 to win last year’s sectional title and the Pioneers beat the Rams in nine innings earlier this season.
“It think it’s going to be a great game,” Payne said. “It’s a close game every time we play. It’s a great opportunity, but we know it’s going to be a challenge.”
In the 13-3 loss to Paoli, Kayla Wallace and Hannah Heintzman each hit a double for Clarksville, which scored a single run in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Baley Sharp reached base three times for the Generals.