Ian Holley scored the game-winning run and was immediately swarmed by his Oregon teammates as the Hawks walked off with a 1-0 regional title victory Saturday on their home diamond.
Fifth-seeded Oregon (13-14) won the improbable matchup over fellow Big Northern West member Mendota, the 2A regional’s sixth seed.
Matt Murray worked a five-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking one. Holley went 2-for-3 with a stolen base and scored the winning run with two outs in the seventh.
The Hawks will head north to meet Erie-Prophetstown in a Byron Sectional semifinal at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
2A Byron Softball Regional
Stillman Valley 9, Oregon 0: Bella Holley went 2-for-3 for the Hawks, who couldn’t scratch across a run in the title game against the Cardinals.
Abby Baker took the loss, while Payton Abbott got the win for fellow BNC West member Stillman.
Dixon 11, Rochelle 9: John Thomas homered, doubled, singled twice and drove in four runs to lead Dixon at Veterans Memorial Field.
Thomas hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to stake the Dukes (10-22) to a 9-4 lead, and they held on from there.
Alex Strum was the winning pitcher, allowing three earned runs, four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. He also struck out five.
Dixon and Rochelle will meet Monday in a Class 3A Rochelle Regional play-in game in Dixon. The winner takes on top-seeded Sycamore on Wednesday.
Sterling closes with two wins: The Golden Warriors got a pair of victories at Metamora, thumping Galesburg 13-1 in five innings and hanging on for an 8-7 win over Metamora.
Against Galesburg, Karlie Mellott homered on the second pitch on the game and Darien Bardoner added a two-run homer in Sterling’s five-run first. Mellott had four hits and two RBIs. Stephanie Kester contributed three hits and three RBIs, and was the winning pitcher.
Priscilla Aponte went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs against Metamora (22-11). Cassidy Gillihan had two RBIs.
Sterling, which finished the regular season 23-3, built an 8-3 lead before Metamora scored four runs and had the tying run at third to end the game. Kester (20-2) got her 20th win, allowing just two earned runs in a five-hitter.
Gale/Lobo take third at sectional: The Dixon Dukes’ No. 2 doubles team of Kurt Gale and Romulo Lobo bounced back from a loss to win the Moline Sectional third-place match convincingly.
After salvaging a game in a 6-0, 6-1 loss to the top-seeded Moline duo of Jed Wood and Pranav Puri, the third-seeded Gale and Lobo routed Alleman’s Garrett Larsen and Sam Gelski 6-1, 6-1.
The Dixon pair was already state-bound, but improved its seeding with the victory.