COAL CITY - Independence coach Ken Adkins said he knew all he needed to know from the beginning of the game.

The Patriots, in dire straits, needing two victories to win the Class AA Region 3, Section 1 title for the first time in four years, did just that.

Independence took the first game 9-6 in eight innings and then won the suddenly necessary nightcap 14-5 to clinch a spot in the Region 3 championship series against Shady Spring. That tournament began Monday.

Wyoming East, after a 5-4 victory against Independence Tuesday, was in the driver's seat needing to win once to claim its fourth-straight sectional crown.

But a signal was sent from the first batter of evening that the night belonged to Independence.

Nicole Kester led off the game with a double down the left field line.

"I knew when Nicole pulled the ball like that we were going to hit," Adkins said. "We have played against Holly (Brehm, the Wyoming East ace) so often and we never really pulled the ball like that. It was a good sign."

Kester scored to give Indy a 1-0 lead, but Wyoming East came back and scored four runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a home run by Kelsey Green.

Jazz Blankenship, who went 3 for 5 and scored a pair of runs, scored her second in the second inning when she hit a two-out triple and Brehm followed with a single to make it 5-1.

Indy sent 10 players to the plate in the bottom of the fourth and plated five runs to take a 6-5 lead. Kelli Cameron scored the tying run in the bottom half of the inning when she was hit by a pitch and scored on another Brehm single.

The Patriots finally finished off the game with three in the ninth.

Earlier in the day, Wyoming East coach Doc Warner was taken to the hospital with a suspected stroke.

He was taken to a local hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

In the second game, it was all Independence.

The Patriots sent seven batters to the plate in the first two inning and scored three in each frame.

Run-scoring singles from Kaylen Parks and Riley Adkins and a run-scoring double by Ashleigh Sexton highlighted the first.

A two-run homer by Parks, her eighth, highlighted the second.

The Patriots added four to make it 10-0 in the fourth.

The Lady Warriors scored two in the fourth but that was countered by four more, including a home run from Kester, making the score 14-2.

The highlight of the game for Wyoming East was a two-run shot by Olivia Hylton, her second, in the fifth.

It wasn't nearly enough.

Brehm struggled on the evening giving up more runs in the two games than she had all season. She was also hurt by errors. The Warriors committed 10 in the two games combined.

The game was delayed Friday and then Saturday because of rain.

"We talked about hitting during the four days between games, every aspect from how to approach at bats to check swings," Adkins said. "I think for the first time the team really bought in to what we were saying, what we wanted to do and that showed."

Wyoming East finished the season with a 22-6 mark.

Class AA, Region 3, Section 1

tournament results

Monday, April 29

at Coal City

Independence 8, Liberty 3

at Wyoming East

Westside 21, Oak Hill 2 (5 inn)

Wyoming East 5, Westside 0

Tuesday, April 30

at Coal City

Liberty 9, Oak Hill 1 (5 inn)

Wyoming East 5, Independence 4

Wednesday, May 1

at Coal City

Liberty 4, Westside 1

Thursday, May 2

at Coal City

Independence 12, Liberty 10

Monday, May 6

at Coal City

Independence 9, Wyoming East 6 (8 inn)

Independence 14, Wyoming East 5 (5 inn)

Class AA Region 3, Section 1 - Monday

Game 1

Independence 9, Wyoming East 6 (9 inn)

Independence 100 500 003 - 9 10 1

Wyoming East 410 100 000 - 6 8 7

Battery - I: Savannah Bragg and Riley Adkins WE: Holly Brehm and Paige Laxton. WP - Savannah Bragg 119 pitches 78 strikes 9.0 IP 8H 6R 5 ER 2BB 6K. LP - Holly Brehm 133 pitches 91 strikes 9.0 IP 10H 9R 3ER 3BB 9K. Hitting - I: Nicole Kester 1-4 (2B, 2R), Mackenzie Holley 2-4 (run), Kaylen Parks 1-3 (run, 3 RBI), Ashleigh Sexton (run), Savannah Bragg 2-5 (2 RBI), Riley Adkins 2-5 (run, RBI), Caroline Parrish (RBI) Meg Nuckols 1-4 (run), Kylie Nelson 1-4 (run), WE: Jazz Blankenship 3-5 (3B, 2 runs), Holly Brehm 1-2 (RBI), Paige Laxton (run), Olivia Hylton (RBI), Miranda Hurley 2-4 (run, RBI), Kelsey Green 2-4 (HR, run, 2 RBI), Kelli Cameron (run).

Game 2

Independence 14, Wyoming East 5 (5 inn)

Independence 330 44 - 14 10 0

Wyoming East 000. 23 - 5 7 3

Battery - I: Savannah Bragg and Riley Adkins. WE: Holly Brehm and Paige Laxton. WP - Savannah Bragg 68 pitches, 54 strikes 5.0 IP 7H 5R 5 ER 1BB 2K. LP - Holly Brehm 132 pitches, 79 strikes, 10H 14R 10ER 5BB 9K. Hitting - I: Nicole Kester 2-3 (HR, 3 runs, 2 RBI), Mackenzie Holley (RBI), Kaylen Parks 3-4 (HR, 2B 4 runs, 3 RBI), Ashleigh Sexton 2-2 (2B, 3 runs, 2 RBI), Savannah Bragg 1-4 (2 RBI), Riley Adkins 1-4 (2 RBI), Meg Nuckols 1-2 (2 runs), Kylie Nelson (2 runs). WE: Jazz Blankenship 1-3 (run), Holly Brehm (run), Paige Laxton 1-3 (run, 2 RBI), Olivia Hylton 1-3 (HR, run, 2 RBI), Miranda Hurley 1-3 (RBI), Kelsey Green 1-2, Trinity Cook 1-2, Kelli Cameron 1-2 (run). Records - I: 22-8, WE: 22-6.

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