You are here

Bulldog softball run-rules St. Henry to win sectional final


By Cort Reynolds

ADA __ The Ada High School softball team earned a measure of revenge by blanking visiting St. Henry 10-0 in the Div. IV sectional finals Friday evening, May 10.

Junior catcher Natilyn McClain slugged a grand slam homer that hit the top of the fence and bounced over to break up a scoreless tie in the third inning, putting the Bulldogs on the path to victory.

The convincing win avenged a shutout loss administered by St. Henry last year to Ada in the sectionals, and increased the Bulldog win streak to 12 games.

Ada improved to 17-2 with the big triumph that tied the school single-season record for victories set by the esteemed 2018 district champion squad that finished 17-8.

St. Henry dropped to 7-14 with the six-inning defeat.

Ada next faces New Bremen (9-12-1) in the district semifinals at Wapakoneta Monday evening at 6 p.m. New Bremen knocked off Hardin Northern 5-1 in their sectional final Friday.


“Natilyn came through with the big hit,” said Ada head coach Jeff Bassitt. “I think that grand slam took some of the wind out of their sails. Karley Wagner played well, the whole team played well. 

“It was our best game of the year,” he agreed. “Jenna pitched a really good game.”

Junior ace pitcher Jenna Bassitt improved to 16-2 by hurling a four-hit shutout. She struck out four and walked one. 

At the plate, she also slugged a solo homer, tripled and singled. 

Ada made a big defensive play to keep SH from scoring in the first frame.  Ria Buschur singled to right and advanced to scoring position. SH hurler Jalynn Everman stroked a two-out single to center field and Buschur was waved home.

But Ada junior Tess Griffith came up firing and threw her out at the plate to end the inning and keep the game scoreless. It was a huge play considering SH scored 10 in the first inning last year at Ada to shock the Bulldogs in sectionals.

“That was a big play to keep them off the scoreboard,” Bassitt agreed.

Bassitt carried the momentum into the bottom of the first when she hammered a leadoff triple down the right field line. 

Aidra Preston then smoked a low liner to center that looked like a sure hit, but the Redskin outfielder made a nice running backhanded grab. She then threw to third base to double off Bassitt, who had already crossed home plate.

In the SH second, Olivia Gast hit a two-out single to right field and stole second. But Bassitt struck out Renee Wendel to end the frame. 

Everman retired Ada in order in the home second. 

In the Redskin third, Buschur laid down a nice bunt up the first base line. But Bassitt quickly pounced on it and threw to second baseman Reese Jordan covering first to get the out. 

Bassitt then gloved a high pop-up and got the third out on a fly-out to Dailah Preston in left field. 

Katie Sizemore lined a shot into left field that went off the end of the fielder’s glove to ignite the decisive third inning. After a fielder’s choice ground-out, Alainee Buxton delivered a key single to center. 

Bassitt stroked a single up the middle to load the bases. Preston hit a grounder to shortstop, who threw home to get the force play instead of trying for a double play. 

The decision proved to be fatal for the Redskins.

McClain then stepped up with the biggest hit of the season so far. She launched a long fly to left-center that hit the top of the fence and bounded over it for a game-changing grand slam.

She was mobbed at the plate by her happy teammates as Ada went in front 4-0.

In the top of the fourth, Bassitt shut SH down to consolidate the big inning. She struck out Wendel looking, then got Everman on a high foul-out to first baseman Preston. 

Leah Lefeld then flew out to Griffith in center to end the inning. 

Wagner was hit in the lower left leg leading off the Ada fourth as Lefeld came on in relief but was wild. Reese Jordan walked and three wild pitches led to an Ada run.

Robinson was hit by a pitch. Buxton walked and Jordan slid in safely after another pitch got past the catcher for a 6-0 margin. 

Paige Felver drew a walk to lead off the Redskin fifth. Gast singled to left field. Wendel hit a soft liner that Sizemore smothered with a nice diving stop. She then got a force-out at third when she tossed to an alertly covering Wagner.

Bassitt then recovered from a 3-1 count to record a key strikeout of Buschur. Lauren Thieman then flew out to Preston in left field to end the threat.

Smelling blood, Ada tacked on another run in their fifth. Everman re-entered to pitch to McClain, who grounded to third and was safe when Lefeld’s throw pulled the first baseman off the bag.

Griffith grounded into a force play, but Wagner’s grounder was thrown away wildly by Lefeld and McClain scampered home to make it 7-0.

In the SH sixth Everman reached on a two-out error. But Bassitt got Lefeld to ground weakly to Sizemore at third base to keep the Redskins scoreless.

Ada then scored three runs in the sixth to invoke the 10-run mercy rule. 

Sophie Fleming laid down a good bunt and was barely out third to first on a good peg by Lefeld. “That was a nice bunt,” Bassitt observed.

Buxton flew out to center field. Bassitt then cranked a line shot over the wall in left-center for a solo home run. 

Preston singled to center, followed by a single to left by McClain. Griffith lofted a single to right field to plate Preston for a 9-0 lead.

Wagner then crushed a double off the base of the center field fence to score McClain with the 10th and final run. 

“This team deserves it, they have put in a lot of work,” said Bassitt. “Alainee had a good game.”

Bassitt was a double short of hitting for the cycle. She also scored two runs.

Preston had a hit and scored twice. Red-hot McClain drove in four runs and scored three times on a homer and a single. 

Wagner doubled in a run and singled. She also scored a run and was hit by a pitch. Griffith had a hit and an RBI.

Buxton slapped a key single and drew a walk to keep the line moving. 

Gast hit two singles to lead the Redskin offense. Everman and Ria Buschur each hit a single.

Ada (6-0 NWC) will play at Columbus Grove (10-7, 3-3 NWC) Saturday in a key NWC makeup game. 

The league title will be on the line when the Bulldogs visit fellow league unbeaten Lincolnview (6-0 NWC) Tuesday, May 14.

Ada is in the midst of a gauntlet with four big games in five days.

   1 2 3   4 5 6   7   R H E
 ST H  0 0 0   0 0 0   x    0 4 3
 ADA  0 0 4   2 1 3   x  10 9 2




WP- Bassitt (16-2) LP- Everman

2B-Wagner (A)

3B-Bassitt (A)

HR-McClain (A), Bassitt (A)


Tess Griffith hits a liner to the St. Henry second baseman in the
10-0 Ada win.

Junior Jenna Bassitt hit a homer, tripled and pitched a shutout in
the sectional finals.

Natilyn McClain connects on a grand slam vs. St. Henry.

The Ada team celebrates after a grand slam gave them a 4-0 lead.

Karley Wagner slides headfirst into home safely.

Reese Jordan slides home safely after a wild pitch.