(updated 4:10 p.m.) Eastwood softball beats Elmwood to advance to regional (5-25-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Saturday, 25 May 2013 14:25
Eastwood's Samantha Shirling (right) celebrates as Diana Bushman (middle) congratulates Emily Helm (left) after a running streak to put Eastwood in the lead in a district finals game against Elmwood. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
After Elmwood scored twice in the first inning Saturday, Eastwood could have called it a day.
That wasn’t the case as the Eagles rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to slip past the Royals, 5-2 in the Division III district softball final at Bowling Green High School. PHOTO GALLERY
The Eagles, now 27-3, advance to the regional semifinal against Fairview Wednesday at Brookside Park in Ashland at 5 p.m. Eastwood’s only other regional appearance was a Division II regional semifinal game in 2008.
"Our girls never gave up,’’ Eastwood head coach Joe Wyant said. ‘‘We could have packed it up after the first inning ... our kids didn’t. They hung tough and put the ball in play. They (Elmwood) had to make a couple of mistakes and we got a couple of hits.’’
Whitney Foster, Eastwood’s senior pitcher, said the Eagles remained positive after falling behind early.
‘‘We were a little shaken up, but that didn’t stop us from wanting to come back. It really just lit a fire under our butts. We wanted to come back and win,’’ Foster said.
‘‘Every inning we know we can come back, we know we still have a chance; we are not done with this ball game,’’ she added.
The Royals had two errors in the sixth inning as three of the Eagles’ four runs were unearned.
‘‘We gave it away,’’ Elmwood head coach Matt Hoiles said. ‘‘That’s what happens when you don’t play hard for seven innings.
‘‘It wasn’t just one person, it was collective today,’’ Hoiles added. ‘‘You have to go enough until everybody tells you to stop ... as a team we didn’t do that.’’
In the first, Elmwood’s Brittany George and Olivia Myers each hit a single to start the inning. Katie Bottesch and Madison Arnold then drove in runs with ground balls.
However, the Royals managed just four hits the rest of the way and had only two runners reach second base in the last six innings.
‘‘I think they thought the game was over when we had the 2-0 lead and we were just going through the motions,’’ Hoiles said. ‘‘I think that’s why we stopped trying to make the adjustments at the plate.
‘‘We have to keep fighting and you have to keep making constant adjustments throughout the whole game.’’
Eastwood’s Cassidy Rolf cut the lead in half with a solo home run to left-center field in the fourth inning.
In the sixth, Ally Gabel led off with a single for Eastwood and then with one out Foster singled. Anna Rahrig hit a ground ball on which Elmwood attempted to get the out at home, but the throw was late and Gabel scored to tie the game.
Diana Bushman then bunted, but the Royals could not get an out, and the bases were loaded.
Elmwood got the second out of the inning at home plate on Emily Helm’s ground ball as the bases remained loaded.
Jessica Young then hit the ball to shortstop, but the throw to first was off-target and the Eagles were off and running with two outs as three runs scored.
A fly ball ended the inning.
‘‘You make things happen. One error and then we ran the bases well on that play. We scored three on one over throw,’’ Wyant said. ‘‘We hit the ball and put it in play, and sooner or later everybody makes errors; everybody does, it’s part of the game.’’
In the bottom of the sixth, Elmwood’s Rebecca Harvey doubled with two outs, but Foster got a ground ball to end the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Elmwood had the first two runners reach on a single and an error, but shortstop Mackenzie Albright ranged far to her right to grab a line drive and she then threw to second to complete the double play and end the game.
‘‘That was a great play by her; she’s made plays like that all year,’’ Wyant said about Albright, a freshman.
‘‘That was very nerve-wracking,’’ Foster said about the seventh inning. ‘‘I was nervous, especially with runners on first and second. I didn’t want to give up a really good hit ... our shortstop always comes through for us.’’
Krista Jennings had two hits for Eastwood.
Foster allowed six hits and struck out one while not walking a batter.
‘‘Foster pitched really well,’’ Wyant said. ‘‘She hung in there; she kept us in it.’’
Foster knew it was her job to keep Elmwood off the board the rest of the way.
‘‘I just go through each batter ...  and try to figure out what their weaknesses are,’’ Foster said.
Elmwood’s Miranda Benschoter allowed six hits, striking out two and not walking a batter.

EASTWOOD    000    104    0—5    6    2
ELMWOOD    200    000    0—2    6    2
HITS — (EA) Jennings 2, Albright, Gabel, Rolf, Foster; (EL) B. George, Myers, Harvey, Benschoter, L. George, Yarnell. 2B — (EL) Harvey. HR — (EA) Rolf. RUNS — (EL) B. George, Myers; (EA) Gabel, Rolf, Shirling, Bushman, Helm. RBI — (EL) Bottesch, Arnold; (EA) Rolf, Rahrig. SB — (EL) Yarnell. SAC — (EA) Bushman. Double Play — Eastwood 1. LOB — Elmwood 5. Eastwood 4.

IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
Benschoter (LP)    7    6    5    2    0    2
IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
Foster (WP)    7    6    2    2    0    1
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 09:35

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