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November 14, 2019

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Ada girls eliminated by Flyers in sectionals

By Cort Reynolds
Defending district champion Ada lost 10-3 to visiting Marion Local in Div. IV sectional softball first round action on a warm Monday evening.

The Lady Bulldogs fell to 9-11 overall with the defeat, while ML improved to 9-11 with the outcome.

ML now plays at third-seeded MAC rival Ft. Recovery in the sectional finals Thursday, May 9 at 5 p.m.

"We just need to put the ball in play better and move runners more effectively," said Ada head coach Rebecca Dicke. "I think the game was closer than the score indicates. We gave them some runs defensively."

ML broke away from a 4-2 lead with six runs in their final three at bats.

The Flyers scored a run in the top of the first inning to break on top. Ada went down in order in the home first on three strikeouts.

In the top of the second, Lexi White snared a leadoff liner to right field with a nice backhanded grab. Leona Dalton then struck out the next two batters.

In the bottom of the second, Lexi Waugh reached first when her hard grounder to shortstop was bobbled and she beat the throw. But the next three hitters all struck out to end the frame.

In the top of the third, Flyer Emily Nietfeld led off with a solid single up the middle. But she was caught stealing on a good throw from Waugh to shortstop Raina England.

Sam Pierron drew a walk and Rachel Partington legged out a bunt single. Kiersten Cortez made a nice play to field a grounder and tag Pierron out at third base. 

After a double steal, Dalton got out of the inning unscathed when she retired Brooke Hartings on a pop-up back to the pitcher.

The first two Bulldog batters in the third went down on strikes to make it eight consecutive outs by whiff from hard-throwing Ashlyn Bohman. Bulldog Alexis Ennis ended the inning by grounding out back to Bohman.

In the top of the fourth, leadoff batter Olivia Demange laid down a bunt that died right in front of the plate for a hit. Hailey Wilker singled to right-center field, and an error put runners on second and third. 

Ava Rose struck out, but Demange scored on a wild pitch.

After an Allyson Franck bunt was fielded cleanly, the throw was dropped at first base for a costly error as Wilker scored to make it 3-0. A wild pitch and a pop-up single by Nietfeld that fell in behind the pitcher continued the inning.

Pierron's single to left-center plated Franck and extended their lead to 4-0.

After another wild pitch caromed off the backstop to Waugh, Wilker was out at home trying to score on a nice tag by the catcher. The side was retired when Ennis snared a line-drive smash off the bat of Partington in center field.

In the Ada fourth, White led off with a soft lineout to shortstop. England beat out a bunt single and Waugh walked. After a strikeout, Brenna George walked to load the bases for Dalton.

Battling through a long at bat, with two strikes she smoked a two-run double over the center fielder's head to cut the deficit in half at 4-2. 

Aubrey Madison then laid down a bunt, but was thrown out on a  close play at first to end the inning.

In the ML fifth, the Flyers got the two runs back. Bohman walked to lead off and Hartings smacked a long single off the left-center field fence. A looper over second base loaded the bases. 

An infield fly rule pop-up fell in just behind shortstop England to record an out, but the run scampered home when the ball dropped. Rose laid down a bunt and Ada retired her at first, but the runner at third beat Madison's return throw home to make it 6-2. 

Dalton ended the inning with a strikeout.

In the home fifth, Tori Green led off and reached base when she was hit by a Bohman pitch. Ennis grounded out to first base unassisted. But Bohman struck out the last two batters to strand Green.

In the visitor's sixth a walk, stolen base and a wild pitch made it 7-2. Bohman singled to center field. Hartings then slammed a high drive over the fence in left-center field for a two-run home run.

Dalton struck out the last batter looking, but the Flyers had put the game almost out of reach with three big insurance runs, 9-2.

In the Bulldog sixth, Waugh led off by roping a liner off the shortstop's glove, and it ricocheted into the outfield. Cortez reached when the second baseman dropped a throw from Bohman trying to force out Waugh.

George sliced a long fly ball to right field that was caught, moving Waugh to third. 

Dalton then hit a ground ball to first base that drove in the third Ada run. A bunt try by Madison came up just short to end the frame.

Wilker ripped a triple down the right field line to lead off the Flyer seventh, just beating the relay throw with a slide. A bunt single by Rose plated the 10th ML run. Dalton got the next batter on a grounder back to the rubber. 

Ennis then made a fine running catch of a high fly ball at knee-level in shallow center field for the second out. Dalton retired the final batter on a grounder to Cortez at third base.

Ada went out in order in the home seventh on a strikeout, a pop-out to third and a grounder to shortstop to end the game.

"Not to make excuses, but our pitcher is hurt (sore knee) and our third baseman is out (mono/strep throat)," said Dicke. "But the girls gave it their best shot. We are young with six sophomores playing."

Bulldog sophomore Dalton hurled all seven innings as her record fell to 9-10. She struck out five and walked five, permitting six earned runs and 11 hits. Dalton also drove in all three Ada runs.

Bohman struck out 12 Bulldogs and allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks. On offense, she contributed two hits, two runs and one RBI.

Nietfeld stole four bases and scored two runs to go with two hits and one RBI. Hartings collected two hits, two runs and a pair of RBI. Wilker collected two hits, two runs and one RBI.

England, sophomore catcher Waugh and Dalton recorded the Ada hits. Waugh scored two runs and England tallied once. Ada was out-hit by ML, 11-3. 

The Bulldogs left five runners on base while the Flyers stranded eight. The Bulldogs were guilty of four errors, and ML was charged with two miscues.

       123 456 7 R H E
ML 100 323 1 10 11 2 
Ada 000 201 0 3 3 4

WP-Bohman LP-Dalton (9-10)
2B-Dalton (A)
3B-Wilker (ML)
HR-Hartings (ML)

Ada (7-6 home, 1-5 NWC) hosts league foe Columbus Grove (5-8, 1-5 NWC) in a Senior Night makeup game Tuesday, May 7. The contest will start at 5:30 p.m. after seniors England and Ennis are recognized.

The league and season finale is set for Friday at home vs. Lincolnview (12-5, 3-2 NWC).