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Bulldog softball nipped by Cards in district semis

By Cort Reynolds

WAPAKONETA __ The Ada High School softball team lost a 3-2 nailbiter to New Bremen in the Div. IV district semifinals Monday evening, May 13, at Wapakoneta.

The taut pitcher’s duel was scoreless until the sixth, when both teams plated two runs. The Cardinals tallied a run in the top of the seventh inning to break the tie and win.

The defeat snapped the Bulldog 12-game win streak, and Ada fell to 17-3 with the defeat.  

NB improved to 10-12 with the win, and advanced to an All-MAC district final vs. top seed Minster (26-1) Thursday at Wapak. Top-ranked Minster no-hit LCC 10-0 in the first semifinal Monday.

“We lost a tough one,” said Ada head coach Jeff Bassitt. “We couldn’t really get the bats going.

“That was the fastest pitcher we faced,” he said. “She threw pretty hard. The bottom line is we didn’t hit the ball. The girls fought hard.”

Ada junior ace pitcher Jenna Bassitt fell to 16-3 with the tough loss. She struck out a dozen Cardinals. 

NB hurler Alayna Ross struck out 15 Bulldogs to earn the win. 

Bassitt whiffed the first four NB batters and retired the first eight Cardinals. The first baserunner of the game reached on an error. But a pop-out to shortstop ended the inning.

Cardinal senior hurler Ross stuck out the first seven Ada batters, and eight of the first nine.  

The first real threat came in the top of the fourth. Ross launched a long fly down the left field line that had home run distance, but hooked just foul. She then singled to center field for the first hit of the game.

Mackenzie Bornhorst hit a spinner back to the mound that Bassitt couldn’t corral to put runners on first and second with one out. 

Katie Sizemore then made a nice catch of a foul ball against the fence to record the second out. Bassitt struck out Lydia Bushman to end the threat.

Bassitt led off the home fourth by getting hit by a pitch. Aidra Preston tried to bunt but struck out. Natilyn McClain then struck out on a 2-2 pitch and Bassitt was thrown out stealing to finish the inning.

In the top of the fifth, freshman catcher Ellie Kenning went down swinging. Senior outfielder Jenna Rismiller also went down on strikes. Sophomore Abby Homan grounded a 3-2 pitch to shortstop and legged out an infield hit, and reached second base on an error.

Leadoff hitter Olivia Thornton popped out to third sacker Sizemore on a 2-2 pitch to keep the game scoreless.

Ada junior Tess Griffith popped out to shortstop leading off the Ada fifth. Karley Wagner worked the count to 3-2 before striking out. Freshman Reese Jordan popped out to the catcher on a bunt try.

NB junior Adriana Heitkamp led off the top of the sixth and beat out a bunt to Bassitt, and when the throw went awry she reached second. Ross drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second with none out.

Sarah Dwenger came in to run for Ross. Bornhorst popped out to Wagner on a 2-0 pitch. Alivia Danmeyer worked the count full to 3-2 but was called out on strikes.

Bushman then launched a triple into the right-center field gap that one-hopped the fence and drove in Heitkamp and Dwenger with two runs. 

In the bottom of the sixth, Sizemore led off and worked the count to 3-2 before drawing a walk. Senior Daicy Robinson looped a spinning single off the handle that bounced behind Ross. 

Dailah Preston ran for Robinson and Alainee Buxton came up to bat. She was hit in the ankle by a pitch to load the bases for Bassitt.

The Ada junior leadoff batter hit a one-hopper back to Ross, who threw home to get a force-out. Aidra Preston then lined a two-run single to center field to score her sister and Buxton to tie the game.

“Aidra had a nice hit there,” said Bassitt. 

McClain came up with runners on second and third. She popped up a bunt that was dropped by Ross to load the bases. Griffith battled back from an 0-2 count to 3-2 but was called out on strikes. 

Wagner then struck out to strand three runners. 

Homan worked a walk to lead off the top of the seventh. Thornton hit a grounder that Wagner made a nice stop on, but Homan beat her to second base. 

Heitkamp struck out on three pitches to bring up Ross. She walked on four pitches to load the bases with one out. Bornhorst came up and lofted a sacrifice fly RBI to center field to score Homan with the tie-breaking run.

Another fly ball off the bat of Danmeyer was caught by Griffith. 

Jordan led off the bottom of the seventh and went down on a 2-2 called third strike. Sizemore popped up and Thornton went back and made a nice catch.

Robinson then got ahead 3-0, but Ross came back with two strikes. She was then called out on strikes to end the game.

“It was two good pitchers going at it,” Bassitt said. “We had bases loaded a few times, but couldn’t get the big hit.”

Bassitt gave up three hits, two earned runs and three walks. 

Aidra Preston drove in the two Ada runs on a single. Robinson had the other Ada hit, an infield single. 

Bushman hit the two-run triple, and Bornhorst had the winning RBI on a sacrifice fly.

NB out-hit Ada, 4-2. The Bulldogs made four errors, and the Cards committed one.

Ada (6-0 NWC) is slated to play at Lincolnview (22-4, 7-0 NWC) Tuesday in an NWC showdown for first place, weather permitting. 

Ada might play its final makeup game at Columbus Grove (11-8, 3-4 NWC) Saturday.

  1 2 3   4 5 6   7 R H E
NEW BREMEN 0 0 0   0 0 2   1  3 4 1
ADA 0 0 0   0 0 2   0  2 2 4


WP-Ross LP- Bassitt (16-3)

3B-L. Bushman (NB)