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Richard cruises to regional final, falls to Liggett in title game PHOTO GALLERY

It was a thrilling couple of weeks for the Gabriel Richard softball team.



After shocking longtime-rival Cabrini and then going on to win a district title last week, the Pioneers played an outstanding game against Lutheran Northwest in the Division 3, Regional 23 semifinals on Saturday in Manchester, beating them 5-2.



“Lutheran North is in our conference in the Catholic League, and they’ve played Lutheran Northwest a couple times this year,” Pioneers Coach Bob Wilkerson said. “Both games were two-run games. We were very competitive with Lutheran North this year so I knew we had a shot today.”



Bella McLaury pitched another magnificent game for GR on Saturday, with her only blemish coming in the form of a two-run homer in the top of the 6th inning. Had it not been for the long ball, McLaury would have likely thrown her third shutout in as many games.



“She’s a premier pitcher and she’s only a sophomore,” Wilkerson said of McLaury. “No seniors on this team, so we hope this is the start of something great.”



Jackie Reitmeyer, Jessica Baginski and Natalie Milewski all had RBI knocks in the game. Reitmeyer may have had a four-RBI day had it not been for a great catch by a Lutheran Northwest outfielder.



“Jackie’s our best hitter. She’s hitting close to .500 on the year,” Wilkerson said. “I always joke with her and tell her she’s either gotta hit it five feet farther or twenty feet shorter. But she’s one of the big spark plugs for the team.”



The Pioneers continued to hit the ball hard in the regional final game against University Liggett, but unfortunately for GR, Liggett’s offense ran wild on McLaury and the Pioneers.



Liggett mercied Gabriel Richard 17-5 to come away with the regional title.



Coach Wilkerson said he was happy with what he got out of the bottom of his order in the final game, and ecstatic with the overall performance of his youthful team in 2014.



“We really ripped some balls but their defense just kept making great plays,” Wilkerson said. “Jackie should have had another huge day the way she was hitting it.



“It was a great season because we’re so young. There’s good news and bad news; the good news is everybody’s back, the bad news is everybody’s back,” Wilkerson joked.



The Pioneers finish with a 13-15 record and a district championship. They’ll run nine seniors out on to the diamond in 2015.

Last Updated: 6/7/2014 11:53:51 PM EST

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