WINTHROP — Winthrop beat Telstar 8-6 in an error-filled Class C South softball quarterfinal on Thursday.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Winthrop coach Chuck Gurney said.

To reach the semifinals, the Ramblers needed to overcome a two-run deficit with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to retake the lead.

Winthrop trailed 6-4 with the bottom half of its lineup due up in the the sixth. Molly Glaser led off with an infield single and Bry Baxter followed with another single.

Following a bunt pop-up that nearly resulted in a double play, Hanna Caparra got the scoring started with a single that scored Glaser. The next batter, Kate Perkins, singled home Baxter to tie the game at 6-6 with one out.

Moriah Hajduk put the Ramblers ahead by driving in Caparra, then Hajduk tagged up and scored on catcher Kayleigh Oberg’s fly-out to center field, giving Winthrop an 8-6 lead.

“That’s the thing with these kids, all year long, their motto has been, ‘On any given day,’ and they never quit,” Gurney said.

“We’ve been down in other games — we were down to Telstar just (two weeks) ago 8-2 in the second inning, and they came back and won, 13-2. So they just, they don’t quit. They can come from behind, they know they can.”

In the seventh, Winthrop pitcher Layne Audet retired the Rebels in order to end the game. Audet struck out two batters and hit Josie Forbes with a pitch, but Forbes was picked off at first base by Oberg.

“Layne was phenomenal,” Gurney said. “We rode her today. She picked up the team and carried it on her back today.”

While the Ramblers’ four-run seventh was fairly clean, the teams’ other scoring innings were aided by errors as both teams struggled at times to even to catch infield pop-ups.

“I mean, it was a sloppy game,” Telstar coach Jim Lunney said, “but it was a game we could have pulled out. They are the better team, but today neither one of us played well.”

Audet’s infield single scored Perkins and gave Winthrop a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Perkins led off the game by reaching on bumbled grounder.

Then Telstar tied it in the top of the second with a double that brought home Taylor Mason. What probably should have been the second out of the inning was instead an error that gave the Rebels runners and first and second with one out.

Perkins’ two-out RBI double in the bottom of the second put Winthrop back in the lead.

An error by Telstar’s infield kept the inning alive and the Ramblers took advantage with two more runs: Perkins scored on the same play as the error, and then Oberg’s triple brought in Hajduk to make the lead 4-1.

Both teams cruised through the next few innings. Then, in the fifth, three Winthrop errors loaded the bases for Telstar with one out.

During the defensive collapse, Gurney called his entire defense to the pitcher’s circle for a stern discussion.

“I don’t know if I should say (what I said to them),” Gurney said with a laugh. “I’ll just say that they knew I was not a happy camper because that’s not our forte. Pitching and defense, that’s what we live on. We don’t normally score a lot of runs.”

Gurney also took the blame for the defensive struggles, lamenting his choice to rest the team rather than schedule a scrimmage during the week since their last game of the regular season.

The Rebels wasted little time taking advantage of the Ramblers’ fielding gaffes.

Josie Forbes drove in Aneah Bartlett and Kylee Martin, then Mason singled home Tasha Hart and Forbes to put the Rebels on top, 5-4. Mason added to the lead by scoring on Taylor Merrill’s single, making it 6-4.

“I love the comeback,” Lunney said. “I love the not quitting.”

Both teams went three-up, three-down in the next half-innings to set up Winthrop’s four-run seventh.

“It was very nerve-wracking when we started making all those errors,” Audet said. “But last time we played them we came back … and ended up winning. So I knew that we could do it again, and I had a lot of faith in my team.”

“For a sophomore,” Gurney said, “she keeps her composure extremely, extremely well. She knows her teammates are doing the best the can.”

Telstar finishes with a 7-7 record. Lunney was proud of how the season turned out after the Rebels lost eight starters to graduation, saying that he’s never had a team lose eight starters and then finish .500 or better.

“Very pleased with that,” Lunney said. “I told them I thought six games would get in the playoffs this year, and I looked at the schedule, and I didn’t see six wins.

“We beat everybody below us. We didn’t get upset all year.”

Winthrop (12-5), the second seed in C South, will host third-seed Monmouth (13-4) on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Mustangs defeated the Ramblers 6-5 in their one meeting this season on May 9.

Winthrop’s Sam Allen slides to beat the throw to Telstar catcher Julia Cherkis on Thursday at Winthrop High School. Allen’s run was the first of a four-run sixth inning.

Winthrop’s Sam Allen slides to beat the throw to Telstar catcher Julia Cherkis on Thursday at Winthrop High School. Allen’s run was the first of a four-run sixth inning.

Teammates surround Winthrop catcher Kayleigh Oberg and pitcher Layne Audet after the Ramblers finished off their 8-6 win over Telstar in the Class C South quarterfinals Thursday.

Teammates surround Winthrop catcher Kayleigh Oberg and pitcher Layne Audet after the Ramblers finished off their 8-6 win over Telstar in the Class C South quarterfinals Thursday.

Telstar’s Luci Rothwell catches the ball before Winthrop’s Amber Raymond reaches first base.

Telstar’s Luci Rothwell catches the ball before Winthrop’s Amber Raymond reaches first base.

Winthrop shortstop Kate Perkins tries to track down and infield pop-up Thursday at Winthrop High School.

Winthrop shortstop Kate Perkins tries to track down and infield pop-up Thursday at Winthrop High School.

Telstar pitcher Kylee Martin throws against Winthrop during the Class C South quarterfinal at Winthrop High School on Thursday.

Telstar pitcher Kylee Martin throws against Winthrop during the Class C South quarterfinal at Winthrop High School on Thursday.

Winthrop sophomore Layne Audet pitches against Telstar during the Class C South quarterfinal at Winthrop High School on Thursday.

Winthrop sophomore Layne Audet pitches against Telstar during the Class C South quarterfinal at Winthrop High School on Thursday.

Winthrop coach Chuck Gurney has a talk with his team during the Ramblers’ error-field fifth inning Thursday.

Winthrop coach Chuck Gurney has a talk with his team during the Ramblers’ error-field fifth inning Thursday.

Winthrop catcher Kayleigh Oberg catches a pitch thrown by Layne Audett to Telstar’s Aneah Bartlett

Winthrop catcher Kayleigh Oberg catches a pitch thrown by Layne Audett to Telstar’s Aneah Bartlett

Winthrop’s Bry Baxter gets back to first base before the throw reaches Telstar first baseman Luci Rothwell.

Winthrop’s Bry Baxter gets back to first base before the throw reaches Telstar first baseman Luci Rothwell.

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