Survive and advance. That is one phrase used for postseason play. Just win one game and you move onto the next, which is exactly what the Lakeland softball team did Tuesday night.

Lakeland took on Medford in the first game of regional semifinals. The Thunderbirds snuck out a 6-5 win.

The Raiders took a 3-0 lead after the first innings as they hosted this regional game, but the Thunderbirds would answer quickly with three of their own in the third.

“We had some mental errors, some playoff jitters in the first inning,” coach Jason Morris said. “We worked on some new things with bunting and stealing throughout the game.”

With the Raiders scoring one in the bottom of the fourth, they took a 4-3 lead, but the defining inning came in the sixth.

The Thunderbirds scored the tying and go-ahead run and took a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth with a double to right center off the bat of Emma Salquist. They added one in the top of the seventh to make it 6-4. 

The Raiders had one more chance in the bottom of the seventh. They did put one run across, but it was not enough. With runners on first and second, Tatum Morris put the game away. 

“Ultimately the girls really beared down and it was a huge win,” coach Morris said. “They kept focus late and never gave up.”

Tatum Morris came through with seven innings pitched, allowing two earned runs, no walks and six strikeouts. She scattered 11 hits.

Camille Quade came up big with three hits and one RBI. Her hits sparked some of the runs in the game. Emma Salquist extended her hitting streak with two runs and three RBIs. 

The test got more difficult Thursday as the T-Birds traveled to top-seeded Mosinee for a regional final contest. 

“We need to mix it up, continuing the small ball and bunting and stealing where we can,” Morris said. “I think the expectations for us are extremely low, so if we go in there and have fun and play our game we will be competitive.” 

Coverage of that game will be in Tuesday’s edition of The Times.

Brett LaBore may be reached at brett@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.