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Mogadore's softball team keeps marching through postseason

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By Jim Manion

Record-Courier correspondent

The Mogadore and East Canton softball teams have met twice this year in Portage Trail Conference County Division action. This Saturday they will meet for a third time and the prize will be a trip to the state’s Final Four.

The Wildcats put together a 12-hit attack Thursday, dropping North Robinson Colonel Crawford 9-4 in the Kent Division IV Regional semifinals at Kent State University. East Canton won its half of the regional on Wednesday night with a 1-0 victory over Vienna Mathews.

The regional final will be played Saturday at noon at KSU’s Diamond at Dix.

As for the Thursday’s game, it was the Wildcats’ strong offensive attack — backed up another stellar performance by pitcher Amanda Sidwell — that was the deciding factor. Sidwell, who is 13-3, gave up a double to the Crawford leadoff hitter in the first inning and then shut down the Eagles until the seventh inning after her team had a 9-1 advantage.

Sidwell struck out eight, while giving up a total of three hits and walking six, while hitting a pair of Crawford batters.

The Mogadore (21-7) defense was also paced by catcher Presley Destro, who nailed a pair of runners taking too much of a lead off first base. Crawford had only four base-runners from the third to the sixth inning and Destro picked off half of those.

Destro said she was only doing her job, but did admit she has picked off more than a couple runners in several games this year.

Kelsey Craig led the hit parade for the Wildcats with a pair of singles and a double, driving in two runs. Jordan Poth had a pair of singles with two RBI and C.J. Lange had a home run and single. Calee Ruppel had a pair of singles and scored a pair of runs.

Mogadore head coach Tom Pollock said the strong part of this team is the fact they have no weaknesses offensively.

“I know there have been some years when the bottom of the order does not hit, but these kids are strong from top to bottom,” he said. “Amanda pitched a strong game. It took her an inning to get going and she usually gets stronger as the game goes on. I thought it was going to be a 15-14 barnburner after the first inning.”

The Wildcats wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the first inning when they scored a pair of unearned runs on only one hit. Ruppel opened the game by beating out a hard shot to Crawford shortstop Alexa Crase who misplayed the ball.

Sidwell laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that was ruled a hit. Ruppel scored when Eagle pitcher Natalie Huggins tossed a wild pitch that hit high on the backstop. Destro lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Sidwell for the second Cat run.

Crase led off for Crawford with a double over the Mogadore centerfielder’s head. She stole third and then came home when Sidwell tossed a wild pitch. The Eagles would not get another hit until the seventh inning.

Lange opened the second inning for the Cats by blasting a home run over the right field wall and she then drove in the fourth Wildcat run with a single in the third inning.

Mogadore scored another run in the fourth when Poth led off with a single and Destro bounced a double off the right centerfield fence to plate her teammate.

Poth came back in the fifth to drive in a pair of runs and Craig collected her third hit, a double to drive in a pair for a Wildcat 9-1 lead.

Crawford (20-10) beat the state’s No. 1 ranked team Crestline 1-0 in the district championship game. It was the second time this season the Eagles topped Crestline. Crawford has made six trips to the state’s Final Four, winning the state title in 1995.

Pollock said he thought his team lost a little concentration in the bottom of the seventh when the Eagles scored three runs. Crase collected her second double of the game, but Sidwell stepped up and struck out the final Eagle to advance to the regional championship game.

East Canton has beaten Mogadore twice this season in PTC County Division battles.

“I think both teams will come ready to play Saturday,” said Pollock. “They have beaten us twice and I think our girls want this chance.”




(At Kent State University’s Diamond at Dix)

MOGADORE 211 140 0 9 12 2

CRAWFORD 100 000 3 4 3 4

Amanda Sidwell & Presley Destro. Natilie Huggins (5) Mikayla Rader & Meredith Fagan

WP — Sidwell (13-3). LP — Huggins (18-6).


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 1 Total Comments
    Posted by girlsrule May 29, 2010
Nice run but Mogadore lost to East Canton 3-0 in the Regional Final.

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