The third time was the charm for Sandusky softball: After two narrow losses to Fremont Ross in the regular season, the Blue Streaks scored a 2-0 win in their Division I sectional final against the Little Giants Saturday.
"We finally caught a break," Sandusky coach Tom Garard said. "We thought the same old thing was going to happen again -- In the second inning, we had two players thrown out at the plate by the center fielder. We were like, 'Oh, here we go again.'"
The Blue Streaks lost by one run in each of their first two meetings with the Giants. In the first meeting, Sandusky collected 13 hits but failed to score a run in a 1-0 loss in nine innings.
"The past six years, the Fremont-Sandusky games have been very exciting, every one of them," Garard said. "You've got to go through your rival every year. We've been lucky against them in the tournament."
The Blue Streaks are 4-0 in the postseason against Fremont since 2007. The Giants' last defeated Sandusky in the tournament 4-2 that year.
Ashley Gilbert (13-10) allowed five hits and one walk, striking out 11 for the Blue Streaks (13-12).
"She's focused," Garard said. "She seems like a different person out there on the mound."
Sandusky took advantage of a Fremont Ross error in the third inning to score twice. Kylie Neer reached on an infield error for Sandusky, followed by Caroline Estel with a bunt single and back-to-back singles by Bailey Smith and Ashley Gilbert to drive in Kassidy Nemeth (pinch-running for Neer) and Estel.
"Maybe we're gelling, or maybe we just wanted to beat Fremont that badly," Garard said. "We did finally catch a break a break today."
Sandusky will try to schedule a game next week to bridge the gap between this sectional game and their district final at 5 p.m. on May 18 at Tiffin University. They play Bowling Green or Perrysburg, who play at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Bowling Green.
Huron 9, Western Reserve 0
At Castalia, the Huron girls won their sectional semifinal against Western Reserve with solid pitching and several big hitters.
Lauren Volz led off Huron's scoring with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.
The Tigers (6-15) broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning. Renee St. Clair walked and Kelsey Koehler singled to open the inning, and Morgan Asberry followed with a triple to left-center field to score them both. Karissa Shepherd and Angela Barbour hit back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases.
After a defensive error by Western Reserve that allowed Asberry to score, Amanda Vacca hit another bunt single for the Tigers to reload the bases. Kate Weber singled to score Shepherd and Barbour, and Volz followed with a double to score Vacca.
Karissa Shepherd allowed five hits scoreless and a walk, striking out only two. She held the Roughriders' Morgan Studd and Morgan Redmond, both all- Firelands Conference players in 2010, to 0 for 6 batting.
New London 11, P.C. 1 (6 inn.)
At Castalia, Marissa Saley drove in five RBIs to lead New London to an 11-1 run-rule win in their sectional semifinal against Port Clinton at Lions Park.
Saley tripled in the first inning and added a sacrifice fly and two singles later, including a three-run single in the fifth inning, as the Wildcats (13-1) cruised to victory.
New London coach Randy Ruggles was unhappy with his teams' performance against Mansfield Senior on Friday following a big win over Black River on Thursday. He said he was happier with their offensive performance (9 hits, 11 runs) against the Redskins.
"We didn't out-slug them by any means, but we did the right things when we wanted to," Ruggles said. "I'll take two runs an inning any day of the week."
Clyde 13, Toledo Woodward 0
At Clyde, the Fliers took care of their sectional semifinal against Toledo Woodward, 13-0.
Clyde face Bellevue at 5 p.m. Thursday at Clyde High School.
The winner of that game advances to play Lexington or Tiffin Columbian, which play at Lexington Thursday.
Lexington 9, Norwalk 1
At Lexington, the Truckers fell in the sectional semifinal 9-1 to Lexington.
The Minutemen play the Tiffin Columbian Tornadoes at 5 p.m. Thursday in Lexington. The winner of that match plays the winner of Bellevue-Clyde.
Maumee 2, Oak Harbor 0
At Clyde, Maumee defeated Oak Harbor 2-0 Saturday at Clyde.
The Panthers advance to play Perkins at 5 p.m. Tuesday back at Clyde High School. The winner of the Maumee-Perkins game plays the winner of Shelby vs. Willard-Kenton.
At Norwalk, the St. Paul-St. Mary Central Catholic sectional semifinal was moved to 3 p.m. Monday because of wet grounds. Meanwhile, in the second game, Plymouth leads Monroeville by a 6-0 score in the top of the fifth inning when more rain suspended action. That game will resume following the St. Paul-SMCC game.
Perkins splits with Elyria, Wellington
At Perkins Twp., the Pirates split a doubleheader with highly ranked Elyria and Wellington on Saturday at Perkins High School.
The Pirates defeated Wellington 9-1 in the first game behind stout hitting from Lauren Shepherd (3 for 3 with a double, 1 RBI, 2 runs) and Darcy Daniel (2 for 3 with a double and 3 RBIs). Daniel allowed five hits and three walks while striking out 13 against the Dukes.
The Pirates were routed in Game 2 by Elyria, the No. 2 team in Division I in the most recent softball coaches' poll, 12-2.
Elyria jumped on the Pirates early with four runs in the first inning. They scored one more in the second and two in the third before finishing with five runs in the top of the fourth.
Kelsey Yaratch hit a two-run home run on the bottom of the second inning for the Pirates.
The Pirates were credited with 10 errors in the game against the Pioneers.