ELIDA — Otsego softball fell short on Wednesday, losing to Fairview 9-0 in a Division III softball regional semifinal.
The Knights dug themselves a hole early.
The Apaches scored two runs in the first inning, one in the second, two in the third and two in the fourth for seven runs in the first four innings.
“Fairview had a really deep lineup. Something that we necessarily … haven’t seen in a little while or haven’t seen enough of,” Otsego head coach Jason Colyer said. “They are a confident group, they were confident at the plate, they were threatening to score just about every inning on us and that can be taxing at times.”
At the plate, the Knights were able to threaten a little bit, with a couple of walks and singles, but they were never able to get that big extra base hit to drive in a run across the plate.
“Obviously there was a little bit of frustration at the plate for us, but credit to their pitcher. She did a good job of attacking certain hitters and she was working counts where she was OK with some of our best hitters getting a walk. Their outfield played pretty deep, and they were taking the approach that they weren’t going to allow any extra base hits,” Colyer said.
The Apaches scored another run in the fifth and sixth innings to make it a 9-0 lead. Neither team was able to score in the seventh and that finished the game.
Lexi North got the loss in the circle for the Knights, going all seven innings and giving up nine runs (six earned) on 13 hits, five strikeouts and five walks.
At the plate the Knights had just three hits, all singles. Evelyn Rider led the team going 2-for-3. Summer Berry went 1-for-2 with a walk. Eve Serrato went 0-for-2 but drew two walks on the day.
The Knights graduate five seniors: Serrato, Kholey Hutton, Amelia Simpson, Araha Burgy and Carly Heckerman. It was a senior class that saw the program’s first NBC softball title and their first district championship since 2004.
“Our senior leaders and our team captains, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about that group. They did a tremendous job of keeping us focused day in and day out and had a lot of fun doing it. This group — 24 four wins — definitely cannot hang your head. They accomplished every single goal that we had set this year and we tied the deepest run in school history,” Colyer said.
With the deep run also comes excitement. They might lose the co-NBC player of the year in Serrato, but they get back the NBC pitcher of the year first team All-NBC player in North as well as All-NBC second teamers Berry and Makayla Dingledine.
“This playoff run has definitely energized our community. I see a lot of young kids that are excited for their turn in the next couple of years and I know that they are chomping at the bit to get their shot at the varsity level. They are learning what it takes to win at a high level, the type of work that you have to put in. They are learning that some our best teams have a lot of fun along the way too,” Colyer said