|Lady Panthers knock out Lancers in District softball|
|Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:11 AM|
By BRIAN BASSETT
ELIDA - Parkway senior right fielder Olivia Smith came up with the score tied and a runner on first in Friday’s Division IV district final and blooped the ball into right field.
Fortunately for the Lady Panthers, Crestview’s Mackenzie Riggenbach was nowhere to be found.
In fact, Parkway was playing a different Northwest Conference opponent, Lincolnview, Friday at Dorothy Edwards Field in Elida and pulled away to win 6-3 - thanks in part to the tie-breaking RBI double by Smith.
The district championship was extra special with the memory of last season’s game, in which Riggenbach made a diving catch to end the game and Parkway’s season, still in the Lady Panthers’ minds.
“We talked about this point in the season. From the time Riggenbach made that catch in right field last year, we knew we would have a team (this year) that is capable of going a long way. We just want to keep it rolling,” said Parkway coach Mark Esselstein.
The Lady Lancers (18-5) gave Parkway (20-5) all it wanted in Friday’s district championship game taking an early 3-2 lead. But junior Parkway pitcher Sierra Fent sat down 12 of the final 14 Lincolnview batters and the Parkway offense scratched three runs across late to take the game 6-3.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to Parkway. We knew they would hit the ball and they did,” said Lincolnview coach Kent McClure.
After a scoreless first inning, it was Parkway which struck first in the visitor second. Fent walked, stole second and advanced to third on a Lady Lancer error before scoring on a sacrafice fly by sophomore third baseman Terra Walls.
Lincolnview countered with a run of its own in the home half of the second. Sophomore shortstop Baylee Neate doubled and scored when senior catcher Lauren Calvert reached on an error to tie the game at one.
“It was such a tough game,” explained Esselstein. “Lincolnview has the heart of a champion. When we score we want to come back and shut (our opponent) down. If the other team scores, you want to answer right back. And (Lincolnview) just kept answering.”
Parkway scraped another run across in the top of the third when Smith singled, stole second and scored on a double by senior first baseman Kylie Snyder.
Lincolnview again answered in the home third, this time with a pair of runs to take a 3-2 lead. Senior center fielder Jodie Doner singled and senior second baseman Kaitlyn Brant followed suit. Sophomore left fielder Devann Springer singled Doner home and Neate plated Brant with a single of her own.
Fent was lights-out from that point, however, allowing only one hit through the remainder.
Meanwhile, Parkway tied the game in the top of the fourth when Terra Walls doubled and scored when sophomore catcher Zoey Pond reached on error.
Junior shortstop Ashlynn Henderson singled with one out in the top of the fifth and scored on the Smith doubled which gave Parkway a 4-3 lead. The lead grew to 5-4 when Smith scored on an RBI triple off the bat of sophomore leadoff-hitting center fielder Kayla Walls.
The Lady Panthers scored one final insurance run in the top of the seventh when Snyder singled and scored on an RBI single by Terra Walls to make the score 6-3.
Lincolnview threatened with a Doner two-out hit in the home seventh but Fent induced a groundout to end the game and give the Lady Panthers the district title.
“One thing we’ve always said is do not let (our opponent) have that big inning. Maybe one or two runs but don’t let them have that 9-run inning… We were still in the game at the end. We kept battling all the way to the end. I’m happy with our girls,” said McClure.
Fent got the win in the circle for the Panthers. She went all seven innings allowing three runs, two of which were earned, while giving up six hits, walking one and striking out seven.
“Sierra is tough to hit, and Lincolnview probably did as good a job as anybody at putting the ball in play and making us play defense,” added Esselstein.
McClure agreed: “What can you say about Fent. We did put her on for three runs, hit the ball and made contact.”
Junior Ashley McClure took the loss for the Lady Lancers. She went all seven innings allowing six runs, only four of which were earned. McClure allowed 11 hits while walking one and striking out six.
Snyder was 3-for-4 to pace Parkway, with a double, a run and an RBI. Terra Walls was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. Kayla Walls was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.
Neate was 2-for-3 for the Lady Lancers, with a double, a run and an RBI. Doner also added a pair of hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The win advances Parkway to play New Riegel Wednesday at Findlay High School in the regional opener.
PARKWAY 011 102 1 - 6 11 2
LINCOLNVIEW 012 000 0 - 3 6 3
WP - Fent; LP - McClure. 2B - Snyder (P), T. Walls (P), Smith (P). Neate (LV). 3B - K. Walls (P).
|Last Updated on Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:12 AM|