WELLSTON - There was certainly the question of how well the Wellston softball team would perform without its head coach Jim Hall, who missed Tuesday's first-round game of the Division III sectional tournament due to a family illness.
Under interim head coach Shayne Compston, the Lady Rockets stopped a three-game losing streak, as Emily Kisor hit a three-run home run in the second inning to give Wellston a three-run advantage.
It would be all the help starting pitcher Ashley Compston needed in a dominating performance in the circle, en route to a 5-2 victory over Rock Hill in a semifinal at Nancy Kibler Field.
With the win, No. 8 Wellston (10-13) advanced to the championship game to take on top-seeded Wheelersburg on Friday afternoon.
Compston was nothing short of sensational on the rubber for the Lady Rockets, as she tossed a complete game and held the Lady Redmen to just five hits. She walked two and hit a batter while striking out seven to earn the win.
But the Lady Redmen struck early in the game, with Kylee Howard drawing a walk with one out before Madison Harper homered over the left-center field fence to give Rock Hill a 2-0 lead.
That was all the offense in the game until the Lady Rockets added five runs in the bottom of the second, sparked by Kisor's three-run home run that turned the tides.
Erica Scott doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a RBI single by Braley Rainer two batters later. Kaylee Taynor followed with a RBI double to plate Rainer with the tying run and Molly Smith singled, setting the stage for Kisor's three-run blast (her fifth of the season) over the left field fence.
Compston worked around runners in scoring position in the third and fifth innings, including a baserunner at third in the seventh to finish the deal and send the Lady Rockets to the sectional championship game.
Scott and Smith each registered two hits and scored a run apiece to lead the Lady Rockets, while Rainer and Taynor each had one hit and drove in a run apiece.
Howard, who surrendered five runs on 11 hits in a complete-game effort, took the loss for Rock Hill.
The Lady Rockets, looking to clinch a spot in the upcoming district tournament at Unioto High School, needed a win over Wheelersburg on Friday afternoon. Results of the contest were not available at press time.