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Bulldog softball fends off Red Devils, wins sectional

By Cort Reynolds

The Ada High School varsity softball team utilized good pitching, solid defense and a bunting offense to eliminate visiting Arlington 6-4 in the Div. IV sectional semifinals Monday evening, May 9.

The sixth-seeded Lady Bulldogs improved to 4-12 after the win. The eighth seed Red Devil girls fell to 3-13 with the defeat. 

Ada plays at third-seeded Leipsic (13-4) Thursday, May 12 in the sectional finals. The Viking girls won at Ada 13-3 May 2.

"Small ball helped our offense, and our defense was pretty good," said Bulldog head coach Jeff Bassitt.  

Ada freshman pitcher Jenna Bassitt started the scoring in the home first. She singled, stole second and scored on a looping RBI hit off the bat of Katie Sizemore.

In the bottom of the second, Ada utilized the bunt and took advantage of Arlington errors to plate three runs. Raeya Finn beat out a one-bunt for a single, then scurried to third on an overthrow.

Freshman catcher Natilyn McClain bunted her home, then also scampered all the way to third on yet another throwing error. Kaya Wince laid down a fine RBI bunt single up the first base line to make it 3-0. 

Bassitt singled to left field, and freshman shortstop Aidra Preston smacked a run-scoring single up the middle to plate a sliding Wince with the fourth Ada run.

Arlington got on the scoreboard with its first hit in the top of the third. Adriana Agapiou drew a walk and then scored on a two-single to center field by Hailey Siferd. 

But Bassitt retired Kylie Jolliff on an unassisted forceout grounder to Preston that ended the threat. In the home third, Karley Wagner stroked a sharp single to left field, and Finn again beat out a good bunt from the left side.

But both runenrs were stranded.

Bassitt pitched around an error in the top of the fourth, inducing a strikeout to end the frame. In the Ada fourth, the Bulldogs scored two more runs.

Bassitt walked and stole second to ignite the rally. Preston laid down a sacrifice bunt and beat it out on an error catching the throw at first. 

Sizemore knocked in Bassitt with a bunt and good delayed baserunning for a 5-1 lead. Preston then scored on an infield pop-up when the throw to try and double up Sizemore sailed wide.

Arlington escaped more damage when Leah Durliat relieved starting hurler Madi Russell to record the last two outs.

Both teams went down in order in the top of the fifth. Arlington then rallied in the sixth frame to make the game tight.

With one out, Jolliff singled to right field. Russell stroked a double to the right-center field gap. Ashlyn Pryer beat out an infield single off the glove of Bassitt, and two runs scurried home on an Ada throwing error.

An error on a fly ball to right field plated another run to cut the Ada lead to 6-4. Bassitt recorded a strikeout looking, but Agapiou doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third with two out.

With the tying runs in scoring position, Bassitt came up with another crucial called third strike to end the threat and preserve the two-run lead.

"That was a big strikeout," said coach Bassitt. "Things got a little hairy in the sixth inning."

In the bottom of the sixth, Sizemore smoked a one-hop double off the fence in left field. With two out Belah Price grounded a single headed for center field, but it hit Sizemore in the foot for an automatic out to end the frame.

In the top of the seventh, Bassitt retired the side in order. She struck out the leadoff batter, then induced a groundout to Preston. Price then threw out Jolliff on a grounder to third to give Ada the tournament win.

"Our defense made the plays in the seventh inning against the top of their order," noted Bassitt. "That was big."

Sophomore Sizemore doubled, singled twice and drove in a run to help pace the 11-hit Ada offense.

Bassitt collected two hits, a walk, two runs scored and two steals. Finn contributed two fine bunt singles. 

McClain, Wince and Preston added RBI hits. Price and Wagner also singled once each.

Bassitt struck out seven and scattered six hits over seven innings to earn her fourth victory. She allowed just one earned run and two walks.


   123 456 7 R   H  E

Arl 001 003 0 4 6 6

Ada 130 200 x 6 11 4

WP-Bassitt LP-Russell

2B-Agapiou (Arl), Sizemore (A)


Ada was slated to play at local league rival Allen East (8-8, 2-3 NWC) Thursday in a league makeup game postponed this past Saturday. But with the tournament win Monday, Ada will have to play AE either Friday or next Monday.

The Lady Bulldogs (1-5 NWC) entertain Spencerville (5-14, 0-6 NWC) Wednesday, May 11 in a makeup contest. The Lady Bearcats edged Waynesfield 5-4 in their sectional semifinal Monday.