BUFFALO —It didn’t take long.
Just an hour and 15 minutes and five innings.
That’s all it took for Class A No. 1-ranked Buffalo to topple the Man High School softball team in Thursday night’s 10-1 mercy-shortened victory over the Lady Billies in the Region 4 championship game at the Buffalo High School Softball Complex.
The loss ended the season for No. 4-ranked Man, which closed out at 14-6 and missed the state tourney for the second straight year.
Buffalo (29-7) moves on to play in the Class A state tournament next Wednesday and Thursday in the Parkersburg suburb of Vienna.
Man didn’t have a senior on the entire team this year and return everyone in tact for the 2013 season for Lady Billies’ coach Randy Epperly.
The Lady Billies made the Bison sweat early as Man took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. But it would turn out to be the only run allowed the entire game by Buffalo freshman hurler Ali Burdette.
Summer Sword got it started for Man with an infield single. Emilee Osborne then laid down a sac-bunt before Cari Blair delivered a single to right field which scored Sword.
Buffalo would take the lead for good in the top of the second inning off Man ace pitcher Taylor Tomblin.
Katie Allen began the rally with a one-out single. Tomblin then hit Oliva Dunn with a pitch before Paige Roush stepped up and reached base safely with a single to load up the bases. Tomblin then walked Katie Higginbottom on four straight pitches, forcing in a run to tie it up 1-1. Burdette then helped her own cause by lacing a two-run single to put Buffalo on top for good, 3-1.
Man then went out quietly in the bottom of the second inning.
The Bison would then score three more eruns in the top of the third to take a commanding 6-1 lead.
Leslie Harris got it going with a single. Hanna Boyer then laid down a bunt single before a Man throwing error led to a run as Buffalo led 4-1. Allen then had an RBI groundout to score Boyer, making it 5-1. Roush then followed with another RBI groundout to push the lead to 6-1.
In the third, Man tried to rally as Tomblin rapped a two-out single over the third base bag. She was stranded there, however, as Burdette got Madison Keffer out on strikes to end the frame.
Both teams went out in order in the fourth frame as Burdette got stronger as the game went on, striking out the side in the inning.
Then in the fifth, Buffalo plated four more runs.
Tomblin walked two batters and gave up four hits as the Bison took a 10-1 lead. Burdette, Chelsey Parkin , Casey Cunningham and Roush all had RBI singles in the inning.
Burdette got Man out in order in the bottom of the fifth frame to preserve the victory and to end the game early due to the 8-run mercy rule.
Elizabeth Dickerson struck out and Summer Sword and Emilee Osborne both grounded out to end the game.
Man had just three hits in the game — one each from Sword, Blair and Tomblin.
Buffalo had 10 hits, led by Allen and Burdette with two each.
For the game, Tomblin walked six batters and struck out two.