Huron softball wins sectional crown
May 11, 2011 at 12:24 AM
Huron let its first golden opportunity slip away during Tuesday's sectional championship at Lions Park in Castalia, but they wouldn't let their second go so easily.
Huron scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning in a 4-2 victory over Margaretta for the Tigers' first trip out of sectionals since 2009. It was also Huron's second win over the Polar Bears in Castalia in as many days after a 5-1 regular-season victory Monday.
"I'm very happy for the girls. They've worked very hard to get to this point, and Margaretta's a really good team," Huron coach Mike Everman said. "To beat someone two times like that, back-to-back, is real tough, and the girls came to play knowing that."
The Tigers had bases loaded with no outs in the fourth inning, but a strikeout and a short infield chopper with a force-out at the plate diffused the dangerous situation for the Polar Bears (10-6).
In the top of the fifth, Kelsey Koehler's singled to right-centerfield and scored Lauren Volz for the Tigers' first run. Renee St. Clair scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to tie the game at 2-2.
Huron's Morgan Asberry followed with an infield single, and a Margaretta error compounded the hit: The relay to first base was wide, allowing Koehler to score from second base. Karissa Shepherd finished the rally with a single down the right-field line that allowed Megan McNulty (pinch-running for Asberry) to score from second.
"Morgan Asberry is really seeing the ball good right now, and she's rock-solid as a catcher behind the plate," Everman said.
Shepherd and Olivia Warren split duties in the circle for Huron (8-15).
Margaretta's Erica Dickman led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double to centerfield, followed by Kendra Gast with a first-pitch single to the same spot to put runners on first and third. Makenzie Keegan singled up the left-field chalk to score Dickman. Gast scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat.
"It was a tough loss, a tough way for the seniors to go out," Margaretta coach Matt Johnson said. "We've been playing good ball all year, and a couple key injuries this last week (have) really hurt us. It's a tough way to see the seniors go out like this."
Due to wash-outs earlier this year, the Bears find themselves still in the middle of the Sandusky Bay Conference race at 7-2. They travel to Perkins tonight for their first meeting with the Pirates (9-0 SBC) this season.
"We're not out of it. We get Perkins twice yet," Johnson said. "If we come back and play like we did in the beginning of the year, it's not impossible. But we've got to come back focused and making plays, being a little more aggressive at the plate."
The Tigers face the winner of Friday's game between top-seeded Bellville Clear Fork and Ontario-Crestview. The Warriors' and Cougars' sectional semifinal at Shelby on Tuesday was suspended because of rain until 4 p.m. today.
Huron 000 040 0 -- 4 11 0
Margaretta 000 200 0 -- 2 8 3
WP: Olivia Warren. LP: Cortney Hansen (7-5).
2B: Margaretta 1 (Erica Dickman)