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Blue Streak softball edges Harding

Fandy.com Staff • May 12, 2011 at 9:52 AM

The Blue Streaks are on the rise again with a 5-2 victory over Marion Harding.

Nearing the end of an up-and-down season that has seen Sandusky (14-12, 6-4 Greater Buckeye Conference) floating around the .500 mark, the Blue Streaks put together their second win in a row over a conference opponent behind a dominant pitching performance from senior Ashley Gilbert.

"I wish I could put a finger on it. (We're) a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde-type team," Sandusky coach Tom Garard said. "Once we got the conference out of the way, and we were knocked out of the race there, it seemed like we've been playing better.

"I don't really know why we're up and down right now. We're probably one of the best 12-loss teams in the state."

It was Sandusky's last-ever game in the Greater Buckeye Conference, which will disband in a matter of weeks. The Blue Streaks join the Northern Ohio League for the 2011-12 school year.

Gilbert struck out 13 Presidents, allowing five hits and a walk for two runs.

Caroline Estel was 3 for 4 with two runs scored. Kelsey Peters was singled and hit a sacrifice fly for two RBIs.

The Presidents (10-10, 4-5 GBC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third before Sandusky responded with two runs in the bottom half.

Estel singled for Sandusky to lead off the bottom of the third, followed by two sacrifices to move her to third. Peters singled to bring in Estel. Courtney Chaney and Sara Sidoti hit back-to-back singles to score Peters.

"Earlier in the season we weren't getting that timely hit, but now it seems like (it happens) every game when we have someone in scoring position," Garard said. "We're getting that hit. Things are just going right for us, offensively."

Kiah Roldan started the Blue Streaks' three-run fourth inning with a single to left field. Two batters later, Estel laid down a bunt single and Bailey Smith singled to score Roldan. Gilbert hit into a fielder's choice, but the Presidents' relay home to catch Estel scoring was late. Peters capped scoring with a sacrifice fly to score Smith, giving the Blue Streaks a 5-2 lead they held to the end.

Sandusky scheduled Division II softball power Keystone for a 4:30 p.m. Friday game in LaGrange. It will also host Lexington at 4:30 p.m. Monday in preparation for their 5 p.m. district semifinal tilt Wednesday against Bowling Green, which defeated Perrysburg 5-4 Tuesday.

"Every game for us is big now. (Opponents) are only going to get better from here on out," Garard said. "I can't see (adding Keystone and Lexington) hurting us. The better the competition, the better we should play."

Marion Harding 001 100 0 -- 2 5 2

Sandusky 002 300 X -- 5 10 1

WP: Gilbert (14-10). LP: K. Evans

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