After seeing their male counterparts advance to the Shelbyville Semistate with a third- place regional finish, the Batesville girls cross country team took to the Franklin Community course Saturday and did them two better – winning the regional round for the second time in school history.
A pack of three Lady Dogs just made the all-regional team by filling in spots 17-19, the effort proving to be the difference as BHS edged the host Lady Grizzly Cubs, 57-58. Lily Pinckley (21:24), Maria Lopez (21:31) and Sophie Myers (21:38) fought to the finish to help secure the trophy. Freshman Kaylynn Bedel led the Bulldog contingent in 5th (20:32) and teammates Ava Hanson (20:57) and Megan Allgeier (20:58) garnered 8th and 9th. Madison Rahschulte ran strong as well, running 41st (22:49).
“They knew exactly what needed to be done to earn another regional title and executed the plan almost perfectly,” said triumphant coach Lisa Gausman.
Paced by senior Benjamin Moster's runner-up finish (17:02) and classmate Ean Loichinger's 4th-place slot (17:11), the Bulldog boys earned another week in the postseason. 
“It was a bit windy but not enough to dry the course from (Friday's) downpour,” Gausman said of regional conditions. “It was soggy, muddy and in some places sloppy. However, the Bulldogs were mentally prepared and embraced it. Yes, it was a great day!”
Senior Daren Smith was the 9th Bulldog to make all-regional, coming in 13th (17:59). Following him were freshman Jake Chapman in 27th (18:20), Eli Loichinger in 51st (19:09), Will Nuhring in 61st (19:36) and Benjamin Adams in 84th (21:41). BHS' total of 79 trailed only Center Grove's 51 and Whiteland's 75.
East Central's girls, buoyed by Rachel Campbell's runner-up 20:28, took third to advance another week (89 pts.). South Ripley's Lanie Nicholson and Deborah Murphy, along with Greensburg's Emily Mangels, were other area girls advancing. Cole Benegas and Michael Schwebach of EC, Ben Riehle of Milan and Josh Pohle of Jac-Cen-Del were more area boys moving on.
The Shelbyville tourney features 17 top-20 teams (9 boys, 8 girls) out of 20 competing. Advancement to the state finals in Terre Haute will take a top-6 team placement or top-10 for those individuals not in the first category.
“The competition is tough, but I am excited to have another week with this bunch, especially our 12 seniors,” Gausman added.
Action begins at 10:30 a.m. for the boys and 11:15 for the girls at Blue River Park. Admission is $8.