Bedford takes 2-0 pitchers’ duel over Kieper


By Nicholas Huenefeld

Special to the Sentinel-Tribune

MILLBURY — Sarah Patrick’s RBI hit spearheaded a two-run second inning on Thursday as the Lake softball team produced a 2-0 Northern Buckeye Conference victory at home over Eastwood.

“The team responded the way I think every coach would like their team to respond in that yesterday was done, it was over, and it was a new day,” Lake head coach Dave Rymers said. “I thought Kali threw well. I thought defensively we played well, scored enough and had it hold up.”

In a matchup of two teams coming off tough district semifinal losses on Wednesday, the Flyers got a shutout performance in the circle from Kali Bedford, who struck out three and allowed six hits while handing the Eagles their second-consecutive scoreless game.

“The loss yesterday didn’t feel very good, but I know as a team today, we didn’t really dwell on it, and we just kept picking each other up no matter what,” Patrick said. “Kali pitched a great game, and I think we were really good defensively.”

Lake (13-13, 6-7) snuffed out a couple potential Eastwood rallies early as shortstop Diem Isbell caught a runner rounding second too far in the first and a double play ended the second.

In the home half of the second, Sophia Gruetter used four foul balls to work a 1-2 count into a leadoff walk. After being sacrificed to second, Gruetter came across for the game’s first run on an RBI single to center from Patrick.

“Cassi (Kieper) is a great pitcher,” Patrick said. “We’ve known that since my freshman year. She’s been tough to hit, but you just look for a pitch you can drive. She’s a really great pitcher all-around. You just have to look for a good pitch you can drive.”

Patrick then hustled all the way to third on a bunt single from Lucy Boos. Another bunt, this one from Kylee Pietrzak, then scored Patrick to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead.

“We outhit them, but we just couldn’t score them or put (hits) together,” Eastwood head coach Joe Wyant said. “They just outplayed us. They got the ball down. They played small ball and got a couple hits on bunts, made us play the bunt, and we didn’t play well.”

Rymers credited Gruetter battling for a leadoff walk as being the key to the big inning.

“We were able to bunt a few times, move some runners,” he said. “Sarah Patrick had a huge RBI that got us on the board, and it held up.”

From there, Bedford and the Lake defense held off Eastwood.

Alayna Meadows threw out Eastwood’s Adyson Bowe, who singled with two outs before attempting to steal second to end the third.

Bedford followed by retiring eight straight over the next three innings.

Eastwood proceeded to put runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh, but a groundout to Bedford ended the threat and the game.

Patrick finished 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI. The bunt single from Boos accounted for the third and final hit against Cassi Kieper, who struck out nine while walking just two over six innings.

“I thought she pitched well,” Wyant said. “’I’m sure she’s tired after pitching two strong games back-to-back. She could have won both of them with a couple hits here and there.”

Eastwood (17-10, 8-5) concludes its season at Oak Harbor on Monday. Lake still has a suspended game against Otsego to complete, although the date on that is still TBD as the Knights compete in a district final on Saturday.

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