ATHENS, WI - The Thorp Cardinals retired nine of the final 10 Athens batters of the game to earn the road win, 4-3. With the upset win, the Cardinals are regional finals champions and will move on to a sectional semi-final against two seed Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran on Tuesday.
Athens, who was the top seed in its division five section, finishes the 2022 season with an overall record of 14-6.
Thorp got on the board in the top of the first inning with an RBI base hit from Alexa Hanson that drove in Ava Teclaw. A pair of Cardinals runs in the second inning were courtesy of a Trista Leech double and Teclaw single.
Athens would get a run in the bottom fo the second on a Thorp error that scored Jazelle Hartwig.
A third inning RBI double from M Brost would be all the Cardinals would need to hold off Athens. Three up, three down in the fifth and sixth innings after Athens scored twice in the fourth inning gave Thorp the confidence it needed to finish off the Bluejays in the seventh.
Athens did bring the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh after a Sydney Coker one out base hit. Coker would be left stranded at first as Leech induced a infield pop-out for the second out and then finished the job herself striking out the final Athens batter.